Most Chinese Hackers Seek Passwords

Most Chinese Hackers Seek Passwords
Most Chinese Hackers Seek Passwords 

By Gregg Keizer
Nov 28, 2006

More than half of the malware coming out of China aims to steal 
passwords from unsuspecting computer users, a security research company 
said Tuesday.

And nearly half of that malicious code originating from China -- 45% -- 
targeted online gaming login information during October, U.K.-based 
Sophos said.

"Given the ever growing popularity of online gaming here in the U.S., 
these are worrying numbers. The hackers' technology is growing more 
sophisticated and more targeted every day," said Ron O'Brien, senior 
security analyst in Sophos' Burlington, Mass. office. "Criminals can 
wreak havoc by stealing money or someone's identity, all because a 
person wanted to play a game."

A substantial fraction of the remaining password-stealing malware was 
designed to hijack usernames and passwords from a Chinese-language 
instant messaging client, "QQ." Although gaining access to a user's IM 
client "may not seem like the end of the world," said O'Brien, the 
danger is that the stolen password may be one used for multiple 
purposes, including accessing a user's bank account or other protected 

China is frequently pegged as a major source of malware attacks, 
phishing attempts, and spam. The country has held the number two spot in 
the list of the world's worst spamming nations for some time; in the 
third quarter of 2006, it accounted for 13% of the world's spam, for 

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