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High-tech tools to fight fraudsters

By Cao Yin | China Daily | Updated: 2016-09-22 08:05

High-tech tools to fight fraudsters

A Chinese internet company displays its face identification technology, which increases security for online payments, at Cybersecurity Week in Wuhan.Cheng Hui / Xinhua

The deaths of two young people who were scammed by telecom fraudsters is providing greater urgency for computer experts meeting in Wuhan for Cybersecurity Week.

A senior official called on Chinese internet enterprises to fight harder against telecom scams through greater technological innovation.

While warning users is important, it also is crucial that there are more technical safeguards, "as they can better combat online crimes, including telecom fraud and theft of privacy", said Liu Yunshan, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee.

Liu spoke at the opening ceremony for the event, held by the Cyberspace Administration of China, the country's top internet watchdog, in the capital of Hubei province.

Liu, who is also deputy head of the Central Internet Security and Informatization Leading Group, encouraged technology companies to be innovative and brainstorm, adding that the government will support them and "govern the web by rule of law".

Zhou Hongyi, chairman of Qihoo 360, China's largest security software provider, said no one wants more cases like the two tragic deaths in Shandong province, "so it is urgent to take more action".

In August, the two young adults in Linyi died after being scammed, causing an outpouring of sympathy and ire from the public.

Xu Yuyu, 18, who was about to enter college, died of a heart attack after she was cheated out of 9,900 yuan ($1,490) in a call. The money she lost was what her financially strapped family had raised for her tuition.

Song Zhenning died from cardiac arrest, five days after being swindled out of 2,000 yuan, his living expenses at college for three months.

Crackdowns and measures against telecom fraud have been heatedly discussed by technology experts during the event, which runs to Sunday.

"We've developed several applications to protect the security of mobile networks, and the most popular one helps users block telecom scams," Zhou said.

In August alone, 360 Phone Guardian helped users to block 3.43 billion crank calls, of which 445 million were verified telecom frauds, Zhou said.

There have been "great achievements" in work for the Android system, and "we've designed and provided a version for the iPhone system recently," he added.

Guo Xunping, the CEO of iJIAMI, specializing in mobile security, said greater technical skills are needed in the fight against phone and text scams. Many systems now rely in part on the human element.

"Many applications against telecom scams now rely on mobile phone users' reports. When a phone number is labeled as a scam, the applications will put it in its blacklist and block it from calling others," Guo said. "After all, technology cannot distinguish a scam among a huge quantity of numbers by itself.

"We should specify and upgrade our technical skills to protect mobile security," he said. But he also added that "how to balance security and network convenience also needs to be taken into consideration".


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