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Author Topic: Chinese hackers target British government  (Read 2657 times)

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Chinese hackers target British government
« on: 05. September 2007., 22:34:44 »
Chinese hackers have been attacking key British government computer networks, a media report said today, amid allegations the Pentagon and German ministries have also been hit.

Chinese attackers have launched online assaults against the network at Britain's Parliament and the Foreign Office, The Guardian newspaper reported today, citing unnamed government officials.

It said some of the hackers were believed to be from the Chinese military, without citing sources.

The report marks the third time in two weeks that China's military has been accused of hacking into foreign governments' computers.

The Financial Times yesterday said the Chinese People's Liberation Army hacked into a computer system in the office of US Defence Secretary Robert Gates in June, citing unnamed officials.

The attack forced officials to take down the network for more than a week, the paper said.

And late last month - on the eve of German Chancellor Angela Merkel's visit to Beijing - the weekly Der Spiegel said computers at the Chancellery and three ministries had been infected with so-called Trojans, or spy programs.

The report, which did not specify its sources, said Germany's domestic intelligence agency believed a group of hackers associated with the People's Liberation Army might have been behind the alleged hacking.

Speaking in Sydney today, where he is attending the APEC summit, US President George W Bush said he hadn't seen the intelligence relating to claims that Chinese hackers had broken into Pentagon computers in June.

He said he might raise this matter in talks with China's President Hu Jintao, along with other matters.

The British government refused to comment on the claim in The Guardian.

A spokesman for the Ministry of Defence referred questions to the Foreign Office, and a spokesman there said he would not comment on security matters.

"We're just not getting into it," the spokesman said, speaking on customary condition of anonymity.

China's embassy in London could not be reached for comment late yesterday.

But China has rejected the claim that hackers controlled by its military successfully entered the Pentagon's network.

"The Chinese government has consistently opposed and vigorously attacked according to the law all internet-wrecking crimes, including hacking," Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said.

"Some people are making wild accusations against China ...

These are totally groundless and also reflect a Cold War mentality."

Earlier this year, the Pentagon warned that China's army was emphasising hacking as an offensive weapon.

It cited Chinese military exercises in 2005 that included hacking "primarily in first strikes against enemy networks".

The Associated Press reported in July that the US State Department was trying to recover from large-scale network break-ins affecting operations worldwide.

The hackers appeared to target the department headquarters and offices dealing with China and North Korea, it was reported.

However, experts have said China is home to a large number of insecure computers and networks that hackers in other countries could use to disguise their locations and launch attacks.
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Chinese hackers target British government
« on: 05. September 2007., 22:34:44 »


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