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
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.