China sees increase in Trojan and botnet attacks from other countries

Mobile malware in the country is also surging

China saw an increase in Trojan and botnet attacks coming from other countries in 2012, as the amount of mobile malware in the country also surged, according to a local security group.

During the year, a total of 73,000 Trojan and botnet command-and-control servers had hijacked 14.2 million host machines in the country. The number of Trojan and botnet servers marks an almost 60 percent increase from 2011.

Close to 13,000 of those servers were based in the U.S., the country also responsible for the largest number of Trojan and botnet attacks targeting China. South Korea was second, followed by Germany.

China's National Computer Network Emergency Response Technical Team (CNCERT) reported the figures on Thursday. They were later published by the nation's state press, Xinhua News Agency.

Both China and the U.S. have lately been at odds with one another over cyber security. Earlier this year, U.S. officials warned the country to stop with its alleged state-sponsored hacking attacks, a claim Chinese officials vehemently rejected .

Former U.S. National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden has also complicated matters. The leaker has reportedly accused the U.S. government of hacking into Chinese telecommunication companies and universities. Last month, China's foreign ministry said it was "gravely concerned" about the alleged cyber espionage and has the matter brought up with the U.S.

Chinese officials have previously claimed the country is a major victim of cyber attacks. On Thursday, CNCERT reported that the Trojans and botnets targeting China were designed to steal data or to help facilitate other hacking attacks.

In addition, China is also witnessing a boom in mobile malware. CNCERT encountered close to 163,000 samples of mobile malware in 2012, an increase of 25 times from the previous year.

Most of the malware, at 82.5 percent, was designed for Google's Android OS. About 40 percent was also designed to steal funds from the user by secretly triggering fee-based services on the device.

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Michael Kan

IDG News Service
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