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May 25, 2013

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Cyber crimes increase 65% in Q1

THE number of cyber crime cases in the city rose substantially in the first quarter of this year and most were committed by criminals under the age of 30, Shanghai police said.

Police have handled more than 860 cyber crime cases from January to March, up 65 percent from the same period of last year, Lu Weidong, deputy director of the Shanghai Public Security Bureau, told Oriental Morning Post.

About 21 percent of the cases involved the online sale of contraband goods such as guns and ammunition, knives and swords, toxic chemicals, drugs or explosives.

Meanwhile, 11 suspects were caught after more than 1 billion pieces of personal data such as home addresses and car license plate numbers were illegally sold. Cyber crimes also include spreading computer viruses or hacking, police said.

Some young men committed cyber crimes because they didn't know they were breaking the law and considered it an intellectual game, police added.

Some suspects have used advanced hacking technologies to commit crimes, police said.

Meanwhile, Lu told the newspaper that they found many cyber criminals now work in groups while in the past they preferred to work alone.

In one case last year, 44 suspects were caught in Shanghai and Chongqing offering sex services online. The main suspect in the case established an online platform and hired people to operate it and find prostitutes, according to police.

In 2012, more than 5,600 suspects were arrested in connection to over 2,600 cyber crime cases, compared with about 2,000 suspects and 1,800 cases the previous year.


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