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Industry body underlines emergency response mechanism

By Ouyang Shijia | China Daily | Updated: 2017-12-02 06:52

A surge of internet attacks across the world has highlighted the role of cybersecurity.

In May, the Wannacry ransomware virus reportedly affected hundreds of thousands of computers in more than 150 countries and regions including China.

The bug wreaked havoc in around 30,000 institutions, such as universities, hospitals and research centers, as well as gas stations.

With threats like this on the horizon, Zhang Jian, deputy secretary-general of the Cybersecurity Association of China, has warned of the online risks.

He stressed that personal computers, or PCs, and mobile operating systems on smartphones were vulnerable to cyberattacks via remote access to devices.

This in turn would put at risk not only personal details but reams of company data.

"A great deal of people use smartphones as electronic wallets to pay for commodities and services," Zhang said.

"Open interfaces make the smartphone a leading target for hackers to obtain access to both payment transfer details and users' personal information," he added.

Zhang also called for increased vigilance and preparation by government departments and business enterprises, as well as individual internet users.

A better reaction mechanism was needed to contain an online virus, he pointed out.

Earlier this year, China released an emergency response plan for cybersecurity incidents to prevent and reduce the damage of an attack on public services and national security.

The new plan divides cybersecurity incidents into six categories, including pernicious procedural incidents, cyberattacks and information security incidents.

It also defines four-levels of security warning and response systems, according to different threat conditions from "general" to "extremely serious".

Getting to grips with the problem will be crucial as other countries around the world have found out to their cost.

Li Tiejun, a security engineer at Cheetah Mobile Inc in Beijing, felt awareness of cybersecurity was still vague compared with mature markets in Europe and the United States.

"With the boom in smartphone users, viruses, worms and cyber criminals are now targeting mobiles, which put users at the forefront of cybersecurity," Li said.

A report published in May by the Internet Society of China and the National Network Emergence Response Technical Team-Coordination Center, showed that more than 2 million mobile internet malicious programs were detected last year. Nearly 99.9 percent were targeting the Android system.

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