Canadians Find Vast Computer Spy Network.

andre kesteloot andre.kesteloot at
Tue Mar 31 21:35:19 CDT 2009

*Canadians Find Vast Computer Spy Network.* 
Canadian researchers have uncovered a vast electronic spying operation 
that infiltrated computers and stole documents from government and 
private offices around the world, including those of the Dalai Lama, The 
New York Times reported on Saturday.

In a report provided to the newspaper, a team from the Munk Center for 
International Studies in Toronto said at least 1,295 computers in 103 
countries had been breached in less than two years by the spy system, 
which it dubbed GhostNet.

Embassies, foreign ministries, government offices and the Dalai Lama's 
Tibetan exile centers in India, Brussels, London and New York were among 
those infiltrated, said the researchers, who have detected computer 
espionage in the past.

They found no evidence U.S. government offices were breached.

The researchers concluded that computers based almost exclusively in 
China were responsible for the intrusions, although they stopped short 
of saying the Chinese government was involved in the system, which they 
described as still active.

A spokesman for the Chinese Consulate in New York dismissed the idea 
China was involved, and stated that the Chinese government opposes - 
"and strictly forbids" - cybercrime.

The Toronto researchers began their sleuthing after a request from the 
office of the Dalai Lama, the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader, to 
examine its computers for signs of malicious software, or malware.

The network they found possessed remarkable "Big Brother-style" 
capabilities, allowing it, among other things, to turn on the camera and 
audio-recording functions of infected computers for potential in-room 
monitoring, the report said.

The system was focused on the governments of South Asian and Southeast 
Asian nations as well as on the Dalai Lama, the researchers said, adding 
that computers at the Indian Embassy in Washington were infiltrated and 
a NATO computer monitored. [Simao/Reuters 

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