Correspondents in Paris
September 10, 2007
FRENCH information systems fell prey to cyber attacks "involving China",
similar to those reported by the US, British and German governments, a
top French security official said.
"We have indications that our information systems were the object of
attacks, like in the other countries," the Secretary-General of National
Defence (SGDN) Francis Delon said, confirming a report published in
French newspaper Le Monde.
"We have proof that there is involvement with China. But I am prudent.
When I say China, this does not mean the Chinese government. We don't
have any indication now that it was done by the Chinese People's
Liberation Army," he added.
Asked which computer systems had been hacked, Delon said they "concerned
the services of the (French) state."
A source close to the issue said the French defence ministry's public
Internet site was targeted, but that it contained no confidential
information. The attack was made by cyber saboteurs to "test information
China vehemently denied that its army was involved in international
computer espionage on Thursday after newspaper reports that the British
government had sustained cyber attacks from the Chinese.
"Saying that the Chinese military has made cyber attacks on the networks
of foreign governments is groundless and irresponsible and are a result
of ulterior motives," foreign ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said.
The Times and The Independent newspapers in London said that Chinese
computer hackers had infiltrated British government networks.
And The Times on Saturday quoted what it said was a Pentagon report that
Chinese military hackers have drawn up a plan to disable the US battle
carrier fleet through a cyber attack.
Beijing planned to establish "electronic dominance" over its global
rivals by 2050, particularly the United States, Britain, Russia and
South Korea, said the daily.
The Pentagon said on Tuesday that several nations and groups had been
trying to break into the US military's computer system, after the
Financial Times reported China's military had successfully hacked into
the network in June.
The Pentagon later indicated that the attacks were coming from "states
and non-state-owned organisations."
The German weekly Der Spiegel reported that espionage programs traced to
the PLA had been detected in computer systems at Chancellor Angela
Merkel's office, the foreign ministry and other government agencies in
Berlin without identifying its source.
Copyright 2007 News Limited.
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