China is playing host to a growing number of phishing scams, according to recent research that found a sharp rise in fraudulent Web sites hosted there. Security professionals in the Chinese National Computer Emergency Response Team, or CNCERT, said this week that 223 fraudulent Web sites were discovered in China last year, compared with only one reported in 2003.
A report from the official Chinese news agency Xinhua said that most of the sites are owned by people outside of China and that the country had become a haven for scammers. Phishing e-mails lure victims into parting with confidential information, typically by purporting to be from a bank or e-commerce vendor and linking to Web sites set up to look like those of the companies in question, but hosted by scammers.
Dan Ilett of ZDNet UK reported from London.