China’s Internet Spying

Posted: January 27, 2011 in Analysis

Businessmen in major metropolitan hotels find their computers are penetrated.

A correspondent from Asia Sentinel wrote on January 24th, 2011, last June, at about the time of the anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre of 1989, several members of the internal investigation unit of a US company assembled at an international luxury chain hotel in Beijing for a conference.

The company does not want to be identified, or even to have its field of business identified more specifically. When the employees got back to their home base, they discovered that their computers had been penetrated through the hotel’s internet system. The penetration of some of the computers was so extensive that their hard disks crashed.

“They had been hacked through and through,” said a source. “It happened in the hotel through the internet connections. Whoever was on the other end had the ability to go clear into their hard disks.”
“As well as non-classified US government systems, the hackers accessed systems at the World Bank and at defense contractors such as Lockheed Martin. Defense, law enforcement and intelligence agencies in the UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand alerted businesses to improve security procedures in light of these intrusions.”

It was unclear whether there was state involvement in these attacks, the report states. But, it continues, the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission concluded that “the depth of resources necessary to sustain the scope of computer network exploitation targeting the US and many countries around the world, coupled with the extremely focused targeting of defense engineering data, US military operational information, and China-related policy information is beyond the capabilities or profile of virtually all organized cybercriminal enterprises and is difficult at best without some type of state-sponsorship.”


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