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Chinese cyberspy network smashed

On April 7, 2012, in Spying, by Editor

An international cyberspy ring targeting politicians, diplomats and journalists has been blown open by computer experts.

Newspaper Article

- The Metro, UK

GhostNet, believed to be China-based, infected 1,300 computers in 103 countries, with a third of victims considered ‘high value targets’.

The Dalai Lama’s personal office was among those ‘conclusively compromised’, giving the attackers access to sensitive information.

“Experts traced some of its sources to an island in China known to house a signals intelligence unit.”

Targets in Britain included the Indian High Commission, Associated Press news agency and International Chamber of Shipping. ‘The computers of diplomats, military attachés, secretaries to prime ministers, journalists and others are under the concealed control of unknown assailants,’ said Canada’s Information Warfare Monitor group. ‘Almost certainly, documents are being removed without the targets’ knowledge and webcams silently triggered’.

The GhostNet attack was launched in 2007 and infected machines with software which enabled hackers to gain real-time control. Experts traced some of its sources to an island in China known to house a signals intelligence unit.

China dismissed as ‘nonsense’ claims it was behind the attack and the IWM said there were other suspects, including big business and US or Russian intelligence.

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