China has closed what it claims to be the largest hacker training website in the country and arrested three of its members. The “Black Hawk Safety Net” website taught hacking techniques and provided malicious software downloads for its 12,000 members in exchange for a fee, the Wuhan Evening News newspaper reported this weekend, citing police in Huanggang, just east of Wuhan.
Three people were arrested and the equivalent of a quarter of a million dollars in assets frozen. The accused, are suspected of offering online attacking programs, disseminating viruses and recruiting almost 200,000 members. Police have confiscated nine servers and five computers and completely closed all associated websites.
Over the past 5 years, the site owners had collected more than the equivalent of $1 million in membership fees. Reportedly, paying members were able to download trojans and were coached on writing programs designed to steal accounts for profit.
According to China Daily’s police sources, Black Hawk Safety Net was the subject of research and scrutiny from a team of around 50 police officers ever since 2007, when suspected hackers in another attack were found to be members of the site. There is no word yet as to whether this site or its members of owners were affiliated with the recent attacks on Google accounts and other international entities. To read more related news, check out our ever-growing archives on China’s Internet exploits.