Safe China 2007—Conference on Curbing Malicious Software with Legal Means was held in the Beijing Crowne Plaza Hotel. Representatives from eight government agencies which included Ministry of Information Industry Ministry of Public Safety China Legislative Information Network System and the Central People's Government's Information Industry Office and twenty organizations in the Internet industry participated in the conference. At the conference in a drive to push for Internet security legislations participants shared in-depth analyses and discussions on Chinese network security landscape and legal environment for curbing malicious software such as Trojan horses.
The conference was jointly organized by the National Computer Network Emergency Response Technical Team/Coordination Center of China (CNCERT/CC) and Procuratorial Daily. Also assisted in organizing the conference is the Internet Society of China's Network and Information Security Committee. Tencent Inc. and Beijing Kingsoft Corp. helped sponsor the conference. The conference was supported and approved by the government industry legal and media sectors.
As Internet technology rapidly grows and becomes widespread the number of Chinese Internet users has grown dramatically. According to the 20th Statistical Reports on the Internet Development in China issued by the China Internet Network Information Center the number of Chinese Internet users has reached 162 million. China has now the world's second largest Internet user population. What comes with this distinction is an increasingly treacherous Internet security landscape. Reports of viruses Trojan horses and malwares have caused financial losses to on-line gamers and bankers whose account information has been hijacked. These problems chip away user confidence posing a major threat to the growth of Internet enterprises.
According to Kingsoft's Internet security report Kingsoft found 111474 new viruses in the first half of 2007 an increase of 23% from last year's report. Numbering at 76593 Trojan horses made up 68.71% of these new viruses. According to statistics more than 80% of China's 40 million on-line bankers trade stocks or do business on-line. iResearch's newest statistics shows that China's third party payment market has reached RMB16 billion in the first quarter of 2007 four-times the amount of last year's statistics.
CNCERT/CC Deputy Director Huang Chengqing explains that "economic benefit" has become the greatest motivational factor for creators of malicious software. The motivation is no longer to brag about one's technological skills. Cyber criminals now work in teams where some members are responsible for hijacking account numbers while other members are responsible for destroying evidence. These cyber gangs have formed an underground product chain. The cost of doing business is low and profits are very high. The cost of investigating into these attacks is also very high. This is one of the reasons that cyber crimes have become increasingly widespread. To curb these crimes controlling measures must come from the technical front as well as the legal front. It is necessary for the industry to raise the difficulty of initiating cyber attacks but legislating and reinforcing legal measures to punish cyber criminals are even more important.
Representative at the conference each shared their views. Tencent CAO Chen Yidan explains that Tencent has spared no effort in protecting the on-line safety of QQ users. In addition to a multilevel password protection system Tencent has seen positive results from adding QQ Doctor to help users detect and eliminate malicious software to the QQ platform. In order to curb the theft of account information however all sectors must work together to legislate laws that would punish cyber criminals and curb cyber attacks.
Kingsoft Corp. CEO Lei Jun explains that as a nationally recognized Internet security brand Kingsoft Anti-Virus has followed and done a lot of research on malicious software Kingsoft Anti-Virus has a comprehensive set of recognition and solution tools against malicious software. Even though brands such as Kingsoft work hard to fight against malicious software cyber attacks are still widespread due to the lack of legal measures.
Presently China's legal code as it relates to cyber crimes is in dire need of improvement. Public opinion in recent years has become increasingly forceful in urging the legal system to address malicious software such as Trojan horses. The issue has never been more pressing.
In the conference representatives from government agencies and Internet enterprises discussed issues such as the definition of malicious software the legal definition of cyber crimes ways to investigate and collect evidence and how penalties should be drafted and implemented from both a legal and technological perspective. The representatives unanimously agreed:
1. In order to raise Internet security and virus prevention awareness awareness campaign aiming at educating users about the widespread problem of computer viruses needs to be strengthened.
2. Communication among government agencies Internet enterprises and Internet users needs to be improved. All parties should work together to help implement national policies aiming at curbing malicious software.
3. Internet safety organizations and Internet enterprises should strengthen cooperation in research efforts. Internet enterprises should take a proactive stance on helping implement national policies by providing technical and information support on curbing malicious software.