China police break up search engine hacking gang
HANGZHOU, Jan. 18 (Xinhua) -- Police have arrested 26 members of a hacking group, which allegedly obtained the top listing for (counterfeit) cigarette sellers on China's leading search engine Baidu.
Police in Yongjia County, east China's Zhejiang Province, uncovered the first case in May 2017, and found the suspect's business was listed on top of Baidu's search results for online cigarette shops.
Through the investigation, police found that the suspect surnamed Zhan paid an Internet firm in Yangzhou, Jiangsu Province, for "obtaining" the top position on Baidu.
Baidu confirmed that it did not have "partners" for hosting such rankings.
Police found the Yangzhou Ganyou Internet Technology Co. organized hacking into Baidu's background data and interfered with the display on the website of search results.
After a seven-month investigation, police arrested 26 gang members and sealed off 80 control servers. Police found that the group's illegal revenue amounted to 70 million yuan (10.9 million U.S. dollars).