Monday, March 30, 2009

Global 'cyber spy' network In China identified

cyber spy network based about entirely in China has hacked into computer networks around the world, stealing classified information from governments and private organizations in more than 99 countries, Canadian researchers has reported.

The system, dubbed "GhostNet" by the researchers, infiltrated networks in dozens of embassies, foreign ministries, government departments and offices in several cities belonging to the Dalai Lama's Tibetan government-in-exile, the Canadian team said.

The network was uncovered after the Munk Centre for International Studies was initially approached by the Dalai Lama's office to investigate allegations of Chinese espionage.
In over 9 months of study, they then found a far larger spy network, targeting more than 1,285 infected computers in 102 countries.

Easy to hide
One of the characteristics of cyber-attacks of the sort we document here is the ease by which attribution can be obscured," Deiibert said.

"Regardless of who or what is ultimately in control of GhostNet, it is the capabilities of misuse, and the strategic intelligence that can be harvested from it, which matters most."
He said the study highlighted the growing capabilities of cyber attacks and the ease with which the internet can be used to gather high value and sensitive information

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