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Classified documents compromised in 103 countries, researchers say

TORONTO - A cyber spy network based mainly in China has tapped into classified documents from government and private organizations in 103 countries, including the computers of Tibetan exiles, Canadian researchers said Saturday.

The work of the Information Warfare Monitor initially focused on allegations of Chinese cyber espionage against the Tibetan community in exile, and eventually led to a much wider network of compromised machines, the Internet-based research group said.

"We uncovered real-time evidence of malware that had penetrated Tibetan computer systems, extracting sensitive documents from the private office of the Dalai Lama," investigator Greg Walton said.

The research group said that while its analysis points to China as the main source of the network, it has not conclusively been able to detect the exact identity or motivation of the hackers.

The Chinese Embassy in Toronto did not immediately return calls for comment.

Students For a Free Tibet activist Bhutila Karpoche said she was not surprised about the possibility that China could be behind the network.

"Our computers have been hacked into numerous times over the past 4 to 5 years and especially in the past year," Karpoche said. She said she often gets e-mails that end up containing viruses that crash the group's computers.

The IWM is composed of researchers from Ottawa-based think tank SecDev Group and the University of Toronto's Munk Centre for International Studies. The group's initial findings lead to a 10-month investigation that has been summarized in the report, "Tracking GhostNet: Investigating a Cyber Espionage Network." It will be released online Sunday.

The researchers detected a cyber espionage network involving over 1,295 compromised computers from the ministries of foreign affairs of Iran, Bangladesh, Latvia, Indonesia, Philippines, Brunei, Barbados and Bhutan. They also discovered hacked systems in the embassies of India, South Korea, Indonesia, Romania, Cyprus, Malta, Thailand, Taiwan, Portugal, Germany and Pakistan.

Once the hackers infiltrated the systems, they gained control using malware — software they install on the compromised computers — and sent and received data from them, the researchers said.

Link: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/29935591/

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Wars are won by communication. Its the first thing you attack and control.

For example, D-Day was successful because of false communication, lack of it and sabotaged communication. With computer beings footholds in communication it is of course the first thing that is going to be attacked until quantum networks exist any network is hackable. We all live in a constant state of cold war and proxy wars. hopefully this generation will never have to live through a vietnam or WWII after the Iraq conflict is over with which it will never end.

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This is one reason why I use an external drive that gets plugged in only periodically. The last thing I need is China checking out my pornfolio.

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