[ISN] Chinese suspected of hacking into MoD networks

From: InfoSec News (alerts@private)
Date: Mon Feb 05 2007 - 23:20:35 PST


By James Kirkup
6 Feb 2007

MINISTRY of Defence computer networks have been repeatedly penetrated by 
hackers, raising fears that sensitive military information could have 
been obtained by foreign powers.

The MoD yesterday confirmed its systems have been hacked into at least 
nine times since 2002. Five of the successful "attacks" took place last 
year. Computer-security experts say the real number is likely to be even 
higher, as some hackers are skilful enough to leave no trace of their 

The ministry was unable to say where the attacks originated, but Western 
security officials are increasingly concerned that China is using 
hackers to target sensitive information.

Sophos, an internet security consultancy, estimates that China accounts 
for 30 per cent of all "malware" programs designed to infiltrate 
networks covertly.

Since 2005, the Pentagon and other US defence agencies have faced 
repeated hacking attempts blamed on the Chinese military, a series of 
attacks codenamed Titan Rain.

Whitehall counter-espionage officials say that there is also evidence of 
Chinese state-sponsored hackers targeting British networks in recent 

Patrick Mercer, the Conservative homeland security spokesman, said the 
penetration of MoD networks showed the need for greater vigilance 
against hacking.

"We neglect electronic security at our peril," he said. "This may not be 
a bomb on a train or a hostage-taking, but it is every bit as much an 

In a statement, the MoD said all external access to its systems is 
constantly monitored: "We focus on those attacks which have penetrated 
our gateways and have triggered incident-response actions designed to 
limit any damage and reduce risk of a recurrence."

Subscribe to the InfoSec News RSS Feed

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.3 : Mon Feb 05 2007 - 23:37:57 PST