Sunday, January 31, 2010

Wide Ranging Espionage by China in Britian

The Sunday Times reports on a leaked MI5 memo warning UK companies of extensive espionage by China including both traditional means and cyber attacks.

The targets are described as:
"UK defence, energy, communications and manufacturing companies in a concerted hacking campaign. It claims China has also gone much further, targeting the computer networks and email accounts of public relations companies and international law firms."

Several methods are mentioned in the article including "sexual entrapment" knowledge of "illegal activities to pressurise individuals to co-operate with them", bugging hotel rooms in China and other countries, and:

"...that undercover intelligence officers from the People’s Liberation Army and the Ministry of Public Security have also approached UK businessmen at trade fairs and exhibitions with the offer of “gifts” and “lavish hospitality”.

"The gifts — cameras and memory sticks — have been found to contain electronic Trojan bugs which provide the Chinese with remote access to users’ computers."

An important point, left to the end of the article, provides some insight into the seriousness that the UK government gives the problem:
"The growing threat from China has led [Jonathan] Evans [Jonathan Evans, the director-general of MI5] to complain that his agency is being forced to divert manpower and resources away from the fight against Al-Qaeda."

China bugs and burgles Britain

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