Feeds

China cuffs 905 suspects in online black market purge

8,000 emporiums eradicated

High performance access to file storage

The Chinese authorities have gone on yet another web crackdown, shutting close to 8,000 websites, although this time the target appears to have been genuine criminal ventures rather than sites spouting politically incorrect sentiments or peddling smut.

State-run news agency Xinhua reported that 7,846 sites were axed by the Ministry of Public Security after being involved in “illegal commercial activity”. A further 1m+ posts were deleted and over 1,000 websites were reprimanded as part of the campaign against online black markets.

A whopping 905 suspects were nabbed and a grand total of 53 criminal gangs were effectively eliminated, the report continued. Not bad for a day’s work.

The crackdown was actually the culmination of a three-month operation, with popular sites including online forum Tianya, web portal Sohu and online community site Baidu Tieba all implicated, according to Penn Olson.

Such sites have become increasingly popular among cyber-criminals looking for ways to anonymously buy and sell black market goods - everything from weapons and explosives to phone tapping devices and illegally obtained personal information.

The trio weren’t shut down, but given a warning and told to monitor the content on their pages more closely in future, the report explained.

However, one never knows when it comes to official statements from the Chinese government or one of its propaganda-peddling news wires as to whether such operations are genuinely launched to clamp down on cybercrime or if there is an ulterior motive.

Penn Olson reports that the police were also looking for “illegal harmful information that seriously harms the stability of society”, which to all intents and purposes means information that would be otherwise be censored in the People’s Republic.

The Chinese authorities always lump the euphemistically described “harmful content” in with things like online fraud and pornography when they go on their periodic web-purging missions.

The reign of president Hu Jintao has ramped up online censorship in the country with a renewed vigour. Close to half of all Chinese websites were shut down in 2010, for example, according to a study by a leading think tank.

Meanwhile, last November, the government forced 40 of China’s biggest tech firms to practise greater self-censorship, partly in a bid to quell the growing noise coming from micro-blogging and social media sites like the hugely popular Sina Weibo.

The companies themselves, of course, have little choice but to comply. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Android engineer: We DIDN'T copy Apple OR follow Samsung's orders
Veep testifies for Samsung during Apple patent trial
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
EFF: Feds plan to put 52 MILLION FACES into recognition database
System would identify faces as part of biometrics collection
Big Content goes after Kim Dotcom
Six studios sling sueballs at dead download destination
Alphadex fires back at British Gas with overcharging allegation
Brit colo outfit says it paid for 347KVA, has been charged for 1940KVA
Jack the RIPA: Blighty cops ignore law, retain innocents' comms data
Prime minister: Nothing to see here, go about your business
Singapore decides 'three strikes' laws are too intrusive
When even a prurient island nation thinks an idea is dodgy it has problems
Banks slap Olympus with £160 MEEELLION lawsuit
Scandal hit camera maker just can't shake off its past
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.