By JOHN MARKOFF and DAVID BARBOZA
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
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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