China closes school for hackers

China has shown just how much it hates hackers with the arrest of three people who were making hacking tools available online.

According to the Xinhua news agency, the Black Hawk Safety Net group made as much as $1 million from its activities, which included distributing Trojan software.

It had 180,000 signed-up customers, including 12,000 fully paid-up members for its deluxe service, and is even believed to have run training courses.

The group is believed to have been responsible for a major virus attack in 2007 against government and private systems.

The three men were arrested in November in the central Chinese province of Hubei. Around $250,000 in assets was seized, including nine web servers, five computers and a car. Two of the men were named as 29-year-old Li Qiang and 28-year-old Zhang Lei.

The arrests were the first to be made under a new law late last year that banned the design and distribution of hacking tools.

The arrests follow recent allegations that Chinese hackers attacked the systems of more than 30 companies in December.