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Hacker shut down plate auction

[ 2009-08-12 11:40]     字号 [] [] []  
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A 22-year-old hacker has been detained for attacking the private vehicle license plate auction system in Shanghai on July 18, which caused the cancellation of the scheduled auction at the last minute, police in Shanghai said yesterday.

The suspect surnamed Zhou from Zhejiang province was alleged to have attacked the auction system by manipulating thousands of computers during the auction, in an attempt to get a license plate at a lower price.

The attack by Zhou was called a denial-of-service attack, which means that Zhou remotely controlled thousands of computers that sent a huge number of requests to the server, which led to its breakdown, according to police investigations.

The related departments in Shanghai have taken action to strengthen and improve the network security system to eliminate a similar problem in the future.

Shanghai is the first and only city in China to distribute a limited number of license plates through monthly auction to control the number of vehicles on the road. The price of a plate soared to a record high of 56,042 yuan ($8,100) in 2007. The recent average price for a license plate is about 30,000 yuan.

The attack was believed to have happened around 10:50-10:55 am and led the bidding price to slump to as low as 100 yuan. The trading system showed 8,834 bidders were participating in the auction during that period.

Officials at the auction hosting company announced the cancellation of the auction at 11 am, which was 30 minutes before the scheduled closing time. The cancellation was due to network problems, officials said, adding that the auction results were invalid.

The 100 yuan deposits have been returned to the bidders and the date for the next auction has not yet been determined.


1. How old was the hacker who attacked the Shanghai license plate auction system?

2. What was the reason for the hacker attack?

3. How low did the bidding price slump to before the authorities realized something was amiss?


1. Only 22.

2. The offender wanted to get a cheaper license plate.

3.100 yuan per plate.

(英语点津 Helen 编辑)

Hacker shut down plate auction

Hacker shut down plate auctionBrendan joined The China Daily in 2007 as a language polisher in the Language Tips Department, where he writes a regular column for Chinese English Language learners, reads audio news for listeners and anchors the weekly video news in addition to assisting with on location stories. Elsewhere he writes Op'Ed pieces with a China focus that feature in the Daily's Website opinion section.

He received his B.A. and Post Grad Dip from Curtin University in 1997 and his Masters in Community Development and Management from Charles Darwin University in 2003. He has taught in Japan, England, Australia and most recently China. His articles have featured in the Bangkok Post, The Taipei Times, The Asia News Network and in-flight magazines.