'Hackers using China's novices'

Report shows global criminals are hiding behind mainland’s PC users, experts say

PUBLISHED : Friday, 25 January, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 25 January, 2013, 3:58am

China will probably retain its position as the world's biggest source of cyberattacks for quite a while, given the large number of internet users in the country.

According to the "State of the Internet" report for the third quarter of 2012, which was released by Akamai on Wednesday, a third of all computer attacks came from China.

This was a dramatic increase over the previous quarter when only 16 per cent of cyberattacks originated from China.

The figures prove that China has become one of the most popular bases for global hackers to hide, say Chinese programmers.

The average Chinese internet user lacks the knowledge to fully protect their computers and the hackers use their machines to launch attacks, they said.

The report did not say the attacks "were by China". It said "from China", noted a Shanghai-based software developer who did not want to be named.

The number of attacks doubled within three months last year but the number of Chinese internet users had not grown at the same rate, the developer said.

"Many young Chinese who know only a little about coding imagine they are really cool hackers and sometimes will download code by real hackers, inadvertently causing their computers to be controlled by it," said Ben Crox, a Hong Kong programmer.

China had 564 million internet users last year, according to the China Internet Network Information Centre.