Gaming prestige outweighs financial profit for Chinese hackers

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Gaming prestige outweighs financial profit for Chinese hackers

More than half of all Chinese malware writers are stealing login details of online gaming ‘heroes’ for cultural prestige rather than targeting financial organisations for financial gain, claims Sophos.

According to Sophos’ annual, “Security Threat Report 2007”, 30 percent of all malware detected by Sophos is now written in China and 17 percent of that are backdoor Trojans designed to steal passwords from online gamers.

Paul Ducklin, head of technology at Sophos told SC yesterday that the writers are not so much interested in stealing prize money, rather they prefer to have access to the leaders’ ‘diamonds’, ‘power’ and ‘health’.

“[It’s] a cultural phenomenon [that’s] certainly very popular in Asia,” said Ducklin. “I’d have to be online for a month without sleeping, so maybe I’ll just log on and borrow someone else’s.”

The report also highlights a contrasting theme in South America, where malware writers are designing Trojans that steal information from online bankers. The report states that Brazil accounts for 14.2 percent of all malware and this is mainly for financial gain.

Furthermore, Russian and Swedish malware writers account for 4.1 percent and 3.8 percent respectively, but they seem to write code that attacks compromised computers.

The report states that these geographical trends will continue throughout 2007.

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