Computer hackers

Police to launch crackdown on internet crimes

Campaign starting this month will target hacking and illegal breaches of privacy

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 19 June, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 13 August, 2013, 3:44pm

The Ministry of Public Security will launch a six-month nationwide crackdown on internet crimes, mainly targeting hackers and illegal activities which infringe on individual privacy, state media reported yesterday.

The ministry would start the crackdown this month, Xinhua reported, quoting remarks at a teleconference of top police officers from around the mainland.

Deputy Public Security Minister Chen Zhimin told the meeting "the low cost, low risk and high returns have made cybercrimes such as swindling, pornography, gambling and the infringement of individuals' personal information rampant … sabotaging people's sense of security."

Chen pledged to uproot those involved in such crimes, ranging from internet service providers, agents and advertisers to money launderers and those who wrote and maintained hacking programs, the report said.

The ministry would set up task forces to handle major cross-provincial cybercrimes.

In the past the authorities have also used cybercrime crackdowns to target online dissent.

The forthcoming police operation comes at a time when both China and the US face accusations that they sponsor hacking activities.

A special working group on cybersecurity is to be set up under the Sino-US strategic and economic dialogue, and Beijing is opening a new cyberaffairs office to handle diplomacy concerning cybersecurity.

Meanwhile, the public security ministry revealed details of four recent cases of online fraud via instant messaging and online payments, involving 10 million yuan (HK$12.6 million). Police said the public should be vigilant and take precautions.