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Police arrest two over hacker attack

POLICE have arrested two hackers who allegedly crashed Shanghai's computerized monthly car-plate auction while trying to buy a license plate at the lowest possible price.

Shanghai No. 2 Intermediate Prosecutors' Office said the hacker, Zhou Xiongfeng, 22, of Zhejiang Province, and the "trojan horse" virus spreader Wang Yongfeng, of Shandong Province, were the first to successfully attack the monthly auction system since it began 15 years ago, Youth Daily reported today.

Zhou allegedly sent a virus by MSN to Wang, now living in Xiantao City, Hubei Province, who then embedded the virus in pornographic videos. When computer users downloaded these videos, their computers got infected with the virus and Zhou was able to control them remotely, using them as so-called "zombie computers."

Zhou was said to have waged denial-of-service attacks on the system about 10:55am on July 18 with more than 5,400 zombies. The attack brought plate prices as low as 100 yuan (US$14.60) before the auction was postponed and all successful bids canceled.

A later auction saw the average plate price jump by an average 2,159 yuan from the previous month to 32,522 yuan.

The car-plate auction computer system has now upgraded security levels.


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