Researchers Trace Data Theft to China

Researchers Trace Data Theft to China
Researchers Trace Data Theft to China 

The New York Times
April 5, 2010

TORONTO -- Turning the tables on a China-based computer espionage gang, 
Canadian and United States computer security researchers have monitored 
a spying operation for the past eight months, observing while the 
intruders pilfered classified and restricted documents from the highest 
levels of the Indian Defense Ministry. 

In a report issued Monday night, the researchers, based at the Munk 
School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto, provide a 
detailed account of how a spy operation it called the Shadow Network 
systematically hacked into personal computers in government offices on 
several continents.

The Toronto spy hunters not only learned what kinds of material had been 
stolen, but were able to see some of the documents, including classified 
assessments about security in several Indian states, and confidential 
embassy documents about India's relationships in West Africa, Russia and 
the Middle East. The intruders breached the systems of independent 
analysts, taking reports on several Indian missile systems. They also 
obtained a year's worth of the Dalai Lama's personal e-mail messages.

The intruders even stole documents related to the travel of NATO forces 
in Afghanistan, illustrating that even though the Indian government was 
the primary target of the attacks, one chink in computer security can 
leave many nations exposed. 


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