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China embroiled in global cyber-espionage

April 8, 2009

Cairns Bulletin (Australia)
April 7, 2009

Australia and Britain are tightening their
communication systems safeguards after they were
alerted to a cyber espionage network traced to China.

Intelligence researchers warn, China has the
capability of disrupting Britains vital services
because Britain’s new billion dollar
communication network is being developed by BT
using equipment supplied by China’s Huawei.

Britain had accused Beijing of carrying out cyber
espionage against banks. But with China’s growing
influence and acquisitions across the globe, no
one wants to directly point the finger.

In Australia, intelligence sources revealed spies
targeted Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and staff on a
visit to China last August by repeatedly
attempting to hack into his email and mobile
phones. Sources said attempts were also made to
break into government and business IT networks
and foreign embassies in Canberra.

Chinese owned Minmetals was blocked from
acquiring the Prominent Hill mine because its
proximity to a defence range would seriously compromise National security.

The Defence Minister Joel FitzGibbon’s free
Chinese trips, courtesy his to close Chinese
friend Helen Liu, have only compounded the issue.

Chinese heightened espionage activities a couple
of years ago prompted Australian Security
Intelligence Organisation to keep one step ahead
and set up a counter-espionage unit.

The cyber spy network called GhostNet has hacked
into 103 countries compromising 1,300 computers
belonging to embassy staff, South Asia.

GhostNet was first detected when the hackers
monitored secret correspondence sent to the Dalai Lama.

Experts discovered the vast scale of  attacks
that were changing the securities landscape and
making it difficult for anti-virus vendors to respond quick enough.
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