Black Hawk online hacker group shut down; suspects arrested
One of the biggest online hacker organisations on the mainland has been shut down, and three of its leaders arrested, according to the Wuhan Evening News.
The online community, known as the Black Hawk Security Network, had nearly 200,000 members. Its website, 3800hk.com, was the biggest hacker training platform in the country. Group leaders had been selling hacking software and lessons to members since 2005, according to Hubei police.
In April, an internet cafe in Huanggang hired hackers to ruin a competitor's business. The victim reported the attack to local internet authorities, and of the six suspects who were quickly arrested by Hubei police, three were Black Hawk members, who confessed to buying all the software from the online group.
Police arrested three more group leaders in Zhejiang , Anhui and Henan in November. They also froze more than 1.7 million yuan (HK$1.9 million) in the suspects' bank accounts and confiscated nine servers. The suspects admitted they had sold more than 1,000 types of hacking software to over 12,000 members for more than 7 million yuan.
The mainland amended its criminal law in February last year to make the spread of hacking software a crime.
A hacker and leader of the China Honker Union, known only as 'Lyon', said Black Hawk was not the only mainland hacker community that charged fees for services such as counselling members who were having trouble hacking a given website.
He said it was these profit-seeking hacker groups that had severely damaged the reputation of Chinese hackers. 'They claim to be patriotic, but they charge fees to members,' Lyon said.
'They claim to improve China's internet security, but they sell Trojan horses to entry-level hackers. Thanks to their work, many people in China think that hackers are bad guys who know nothing but stealing other people's game accounts, helping businesses attack their competitors or invading other people's privacy.
'Such organisations are a hotbed for internet crime. And they tend to attract many fresh graduates in computer science who can't find good jobs these days.'