A Chinese cyber gang was arrested for gaining over Â£30 million by selling bogus degrees and certificates in fields such as medicine, financial services, or architecture obtained after hacking governmental web sites, according to China Daily. Police searched across 12 provinces, and arrested 165 people who allegedly attacked 185 government sites.
More than 30,000 people are also suspected of paying up to Â£1,000 for a phony professional qualification, which cyber-crooks made â€œlegitâ€ after hacking official web sites and adding their registration number and name in the database. As of July 12, authorities confiscated over 7,100 fake certificates, and 10,000 phony seals.
“The gang tampered with official databases or added links to external databases so that if anyone checked up on the fake certificates, the client’s name would appear,” said head of Jieyang police’s cybercrime unit Chen Xiaoping, as quoted by China Daily. “They have a strong idea on how not to get caught. They used overseas servers and bank accounts of strangers, whose details were bought online.”
Police in Jieyang, Guangdong province, said the case is the biggest of its kind in recent years, and that more arrests will soon follow. The 14 principal suspects were under the age of 30.
While websites in Europe and the US are required to keep records of visits for a whole year, authorities in China only demand a 60-day period.