Over 1m Shanghai mobile users victims of malicious programs

In the first half of the year 5 percent of total local mobile phone users had their devices infected, it was revealed during China Cybersecurity Week.

More than 1.3 million mobile users in Shanghai had their devices infected by malicious programs in the first half of this year, according to Tencent.

The technology giant said in a report on Sunday during the China Cybersecurity Week held in the city that public Wi-Fi hot spots and advertising spams are potential risks for mobile phone users in Shanghai.

In the first half, 5 percent of total local mobile phone users, were infected by malicious programs, which obtained user information, sent spam messages and cost data traffic without being authorized by handset owners, Tencent said.

Meanwhile, about 19 million public Wi-Fi hot spots, covering cafes, shopping malls and airports, have potential security risks in Shanghai, China’s top city for Wi-Fi density, according to Tencent.

“Smart devices including phones are our organs today, closely related to daily life,” said Ma Bin, vice president of Tencent, which spends “several billion yuan” annually on security.

Alibaba displayed facial recognition on Alipay and an anti-fraud mobile application in its booth at the event. It said its app offers users “reliable and easy” methods on e-commerce and mobile payment sectors.

The security of smart devices with AI features is a hot topic at the event, especially with Apple having just released its latest iPhone that can be unlocked via facial recognition, which can also be used to make payments.

Artificial intelligence brings devices smart features but it also brings security risks, experts said during at the cybersecurity week.

Besides smartphones, devices like routers, TVs, sharing bikes, robots, automatic locks, monitor cameras and cars also have become targets of crimes, which require more security awareness among the public, said Wang Qi, chief executive of Shanghai-based startup Keen.

The security event, which runs until Wednesday at the National Exhibition and Convention Center (Shanghai), is the top level security event in China, which attracts giants like Tencent, Alibaba, China Mobile and China Telecom and professional security firms like 360, Anity and Westone.

Wang Rongjiang / SHINE

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