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March 24, 2012

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'Hacker blackmailers' on trial

A COMPANY boss and an alleged hacker are on trial in Qingpu District, accused of paralyzing a news website in a bid to blackmail its owners into deleting negative reports about a client.

Suspect Ye Xiangrong was joint owner of a company publishing positive information online for clients and deleting anything negative, said the Qingpu District Prosecutors' Office.

Clients paid between 200 yuan (US$31) and 2,000 yuan, said prosecutors.

When he could not persuade a website's administrators to delete negative information, Ye would hire hackers to disrupt the site until its owners acquiesced, claimed prosecutors.

Ye and hacker Liu Tanying were responsible for crashing a news website for four days, causing losses of 70,000 yuan, prosecutors said.

Ye was representing accountant Gao Yucun from Hainan Province, who had once been punished by a trade body.

Details of the punishment could be found on a news site and Gao, now working as a legal representative for a financial firm, believed this caused him to lose clients.

Last February, Gao agreed to pay Ye's company 23,000 yuan to delete all negative posts.

Having failed to make contact with the website administrator, Ye turned to Liu, according to prosecutors.

Liu, who had worked with Gao before, sent attacking data packets to the site and disabled it, said prosecutors.

After the site had been down for four days, its administrators agreed to delete the negative posts, prosecutors said.

Although Liu, who is in his 20s, had never been to college, he acquired a good deal of hacking knowledge, according to prosecutors.

Ye was held while awaiting confirmation that the posts had been deleted.

Liu was traced to southern China's Guangdong Province.

The trial continues.


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