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Internet giant warns of dark chain dangers

Chinadaily / [Photo/VCG] With all the good things that have come about through the development of national financial innovation and artificial intelligence technologies, there’s also been the gradual formation of a dark internet industry chain, which now poses an increasing threat to the safety of personal information and property, according to a recent report.

Released by Chinese internet giant Tencent Holdings Ltd, the report noted that the traditional Trojan virus and telephone fraud, which used to be simple, crude examples of dark internet scams, have matured to into more accurate fraud patterns, such as financial fraud and more advanced database-based data cyberattacks.

According to Tencent’s report, the company detected about 13.3 million malicious websites last year, among which 750,000 were newly established knockoff websites. The top five categories of knockoff websites are banks, telecommunication, e-commerce, games and internet finance. Trojan viruses allow attackers to access users’ personal information, affecting 188 million users in China last year. Of those cases, 63.35 percent were payment traps.

With threats like this on the horizon, cybersecurity is not only related to the internet itself but involves personal safety, and even national security and social stability, the report said.

“Seeing the new trend, we need to apply new technologies to combat cybercrimes, cooperate with more partners and call for the whole of society, especially individuals, to guard against the risks,” Pony Ma, chairman and CEO of Tencent, said at a cybersecurity conference in Beijing in January this year.

Ma added that new types of cybercrime are developing features of industrialization, intelligence and internationalization, and said Tencent needs to improve its guardian programs against such increasingly developed techniques.

The guardian program helped the government detect 160 dark web cases and arrest 3,800 suspects in the last year. The amount of money involved was 3.2 billion yuan ($509 million).

Tencent recently announced its intention to build a shared community of cybersecurity, calling for deeper cooperation between the government and companies to boost construction of the cybersecurity system.

“Government, companies and industries should enhance communication and coordination to promote effective interdepartmental cooperation to combat cybercrimes, in order to form an online and offline integration pattern,” said Zhang Feng, chief engineer of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.

Tencent said it would join hands with more government sectors and enterprises to fight cybercrimes in regional crime management, systematic defense and ecological management. The company will also help to raise the public’s awareness of anti-fraud and cybersecurity.

Gao Boyang contributed to the story.

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