China arrests hundreds of hackers, says situation "grim"
BEIJING (Reuters) - China has arrested more than 460 hackers from start of this year to the end of November, but the prospects to prevent future assaults on computer security remain grim, the ministry of public security said.
The announcement, made late on Monday, came a day after a series of leaked U.S. State Department cables, including one in which an unnamed Chinese contact alleged that China's Politburo directed an intrusion into Google's computer systems, part of a broader coordinated campaign of computer sabotage carried out by Chinese government operatives, private security experts and Internet outlaws.
"The current situation of our crackdown on hacker attacks is still very grim and the number of hacker attacks and sabotage activities in China are still high," an unnamed official said in the statement.
The ministry said it had solved 180 cyber attack cases as of the end of November.
A China foreign ministry official, who declined on Tuesday to comment on the Wikileaks' disclosure of the allegations, called on the United States to "appropriately resolve related issues" concerning the reports. The official did not elaborate.
In early February, China announced that it has closed what it claims to be the largest hacker training website in the country and arrested three of its members, one month after Google Inc threatened to quit the country after a serious hacking attempt originating from China.
China has said repeatedly that it does not condone hacking, which remains a popular hobby in the country with numerous websites offering cheap courses to learn the basics.
(Reporting by Sui-Lee Wee; Editing by Ken Wills and Miral Fahmy)
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