93 percent of Government Chinese websites are vulnerable

Pierluigi Paganini December 08, 2014

A report issued by the China Software Testing Center revealed that 93 percent of Chinese websites are vulnerable to cyber attacks.

Nearly 93 percent of 1,000 Chinese government websites under evaluation is affected by vulnerabilities and other security issues. The data is part of a study conducted by the China Software Testing Center under the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, to evaluate the performance of China’s government websites.

The Chinese Government is considered by security experts the most dangerous persistent attackers, government entities and private firms of foreign states are daily targeted by China-based hackers.

However, the National Computer Virus Emergency Response Center highlighted that also Chinese entities are targeted by several cyber attacks, in 2013 threat actors hacked 2,430 Chinese websites, accounting for 4 percent of the government websites checked.

The hacks have had an adverse impact on the government’s image and pose serious threats to government operations, as well as to the security of governmental and individual information, the center said.

The nearly 1000 website analyzed by the researchers include infrastructure at ministerial, provincial, municipal, district and county levels.

The situation is worse for web application at the district or county level, nearly 97 percent of them is exposed to security risks.

Chinese websites 2

According to the report, 43 percent of the websites were categorized as “extreme risk,” and 30 percent were at “high risk” of exposure. The Chinese websites analyzed were all affected by several vulnerabilities, more than 50 percent of them were found to contain more than 30 security flaws. The data is disconcerting at least for 70 Chinese websites that had more than 100 security loopholes.

Why is the most common type of security flaws in the Chinese websites?

The most widespread security flaws are the “Heartbleed Bug,” information leakage and cross-site request forgery, which were detected in 27 percent of the websites analyzed.

“Website administrators have not established effective security and protection systems, and cannot keep a watchful eye on network security development trends or take effective measures, according to the report.” reported a blog post of ChinaDaily Europe.

Bad news also for security of mobile government, the study revealed that 60 percent of mobile government apps were vulnerable to hacking attacks.

“Their lack of security mechanisms could easily lead to phishing attacks and leakage of private or sensitive information, the report said.” adds ChinaDaily Europe.

Pierluigi Paganini

(Security Affairs –  China, Chinese websites)

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