Report says cyberattacks affected businesses in numerous industries
Cloud-based services and businesses that have captured large amounts of personal data emerged as new targets for cyberattacks in China last year, according to a report released by the country's top internet security risk monitoring authority on Tuesday.
IP addresses of major cloud computing platforms in China account for 7.7 percent of total websites, but the sector was targeted by about 54 percent of all online malware threats in 2018, said the report released by the national computer network emergency response center.
Also, more than half of websites that were threatened by denial-of-service attacks, backdoor programs or tampering with data and content provide cloud-based services, the report said.
The center was also alerted to the issue of personal data theft and disruption that have affected companies in delivery, hospitality, job searching and networking, and caused harm to personal safety and finance security of Chinese people.
Incidents named in the report include the leak of about 1 billion pieces of user information collected by a delivery firm, and the exposure of the check-in details of 240 million guests at a chain hotel. Neither were named in the report.
Ding Li, deputy director of the center's operations department, called for cloud service providers and businesses that have stored personal data to enhance their capabilities to combat a variety of cyberattacks.
"The increasing number of cyberattacks targeting cloud platforms is largely due to their abundant information and massive data that can be exploited for economic gain," she said. "Their complex traffic also makes it easier for malicious hackers to conceal their identities."
Ding added that service providers in the digital sphere should prepare a set of security measures, while users should also take precautions.
According to the report, the center handled about 106,000 cybersecurity incidents in 2018, roughly the same as the previous year. It also shut down 772 websites infected with zombie viruses and severed hackers' connections to 3.9 million infected servers on the Chinese mainland.
The security of government websites has also improved, the report said, as the number infected with backdoor programs saw a year-on-year decrease of 46 percent, and those that were tampered with dropped by 16 percent last year.
The center projected that applications and trials of new technologies, including the 5G mobile network and internet protocol version 6, the latest in digital communications, as well as blockchain tools, are likely to pose difficult challenges for cybersecurity workers this year.