"A security expert says that a vast cyber spy network unearthed by Canadian researchers is a "smoking gun" which affirms suspicions in the west about Chinese computer espionage."
Want to keep this article in my archives, so I'm copy/pasting this thing under the cut. You can either click the link above or click my lj-cut here to read the article (there's a video at the link though, so you may want to go read the original.
A Toronto-based research group announced this week that a shadowy, malicious computer bug called GhostNet has so far infected 1295 computers in 103 countries with the aim of spying and relaying private information back to its owners.
While the Citizen Lab research group, based at the Munk Centre for International Studies in Toronto, didn't directly blame China's communist government for the virus, a former CSIS agent said Beijing is clearly responsible.
"They stopped short, unfortunately, at sort of pointing a finger directly at the Chinese government," said security expert Michel Juneau-Katsuya.
"But an associated group ... working with them is quite clear: it is the Chinese government."
Juneau-Katsuya told CTV Newsnet Sunday evening that GhostNet is tantamount to an "act of aggression from the Chinese," who have been pursuing a covert information war since 1999.
"Now we have a smoking gun," he said.
The cyber detectives discovered that many of the targets were computers in the embassies and foreign affairs offices of governments in South Asia and South East Asia.
A computer at NATO was also infected by the malware, which has the ability to scan files, monitor emails and even snoop in a private room by switching on a computer's webcam.
The virus was discovered after researchers launched a sting based on suspicions that the Dalai Lama's office was under attack from computer hackers.
Dermod Travis, who works with the Canada Tibet Committee, said computers at the group's Montreal offices have been targeted by hackers in the past.
"This is a daily occurrence that we see coming at our computers," he said, echoing that China's government is likely to blame.
"We know how to treat them and delete them, but we do have to be vigilant on a daily basis," he said.
"Like you and other Canadians today, I'm shocked at how vast this particular operation is."
Travis added that the Canadian government should be concerned of GhostNet's ramifications on civil liberty and privacy.
"Clearly, this particular operation has gone on far beyond the Tibet movement to ... other countries."
Rafal Rohozinski, one of the report's authors, said the research team first allowed one of their own computers to be infected as a "honey pot."
Then, they tracked the virus and discovered that it had spread a wide net across Asian countries, said Rohozinski, who works with the SecDev Group of researchers.
"Its purpose was not criminal but rather for extracting information," he said, adding the hackers could intercept emails and read files stored on the computer.
"The access to information they had was limitless."
"While the Citizen Lab research group, based at the Munk Centre for International Studies in Toronto, didn't directly blame China's communist government for the virus, a former CSIS agent said Beijing is clearly responsible."
<-- Why do they (and a lot of people I find) feel this unrepressable urge to emphasize China's COMMUNIST government everytime they refer to it? I think most people know it's a COMMUNIST government. We don't read "The USA's democratic government did this", "The Canadian democratic government did that", etc., etc. Are they taking us for morons or what?
"The virus was discovered after researchers launched a sting based on suspicions that the Dalai Lama's office was under attack from computer hackers. Dermod Travis, who works with the Canada Tibet Committee, said computers at the group's Montreal offices have been targeted by hackers in the past. (...) 'Clearly, this particular operation has gone on far beyond the Tibet movement to ... other countries'."
<-- Pft, the Chinese government doesn't need to hack your computers to know what you're up to, they have all their international students doing the spying for them according to those annoying FLG pests (yes, the Epoch Times IS a newspaper of the FLG, those sneaky bastards. I can't believe such blatant propaganda against a sovereign government is allowed to litter the streets of my capital city and even on my university campus. If an anti-Canadian government equivalent paper was allowed in China I can just imagine what the news medias here would be headlining), along with the several thousand spies in Canada alone remember? Better watch out, you might find a paycheck from the Chinese COMMUNIST government in my drawers one day with a note from President Hu and Premier Wen themselves thanking me for my hardwork in infiltrating into the land of maple syrup. Next time I should ask them for a pay-raise considering I'm still needing to look for a minimum-waged full-time job this summer just to pay my rent, tsk, tsk.
Thanks to my friend for showing me the article, needed that good laugh, and to quote her, "...They don't have to be that obvious with the fear tactic, geeze", it's like the Cold War all over again. The Red Commies are after you, they're in your closet and under your bed, keep your night-light on or they'll...uh...force you to nationalize your companies and...er...work in factories for minimal wages!!!!
(APHetalia: Mathew, lol, what can I say except watch out for Yao's awesome hacker skills XDD)
[Edit]: Upon re-reading this article aside from a phrase "an associated group...working with them is quite clear: it is the Chinese government" there is no evidence to say WHY they suspect China to be behind this. They don't even tell us what associated group this is, what's their name, what do they do, how do they know it's the Chinese government, where's their evidence? Over the years I've heard of dozens of international virus attacks on the net that can retrieve personal data from computers and sometimes change them around, where is the evidence linking this particular one to the Chinese government? I think a LOT of countries would be interested in the information from foreign embassies and even Tibet-related organizations, not just China.