[ISN] French reveal China hacks

From: InfoSec News (alerts@private)
Date: Sun Sep 09 2007 - 23:13:19 PDT


Correspondents in Paris 
September 10, 2007

FRENCH information systems fell prey to cyber attacks "involving China", 
similar to those reported by the US, British and German governments, a 
top French security official said.

"We have indications that our information systems were the object of 
attacks, like in the other countries," the Secretary-General of National 
Defence (SGDN) Francis Delon said, confirming a report published in 
French newspaper Le Monde.

"We have proof that there is involvement with China. But I am prudent. 
When I say China, this does not mean the Chinese government. We don't 
have any indication now that it was done by the Chinese People's 
Liberation Army," he added.

Asked which computer systems had been hacked, Delon said they "concerned 
the services of the (French) state."

A source close to the issue said the French defence ministry's public 
Internet site was targeted, but that it contained no confidential 
information. The attack was made by cyber saboteurs to "test information 
technology defences."

China vehemently denied that its army was involved in international 
computer espionage on Thursday after newspaper reports that the British 
government had sustained cyber attacks from the Chinese.

"Saying that the Chinese military has made cyber attacks on the networks 
of foreign governments is groundless and irresponsible and are a result 
of ulterior motives," foreign ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said.

The Times and The Independent newspapers in London said that Chinese 
computer hackers had infiltrated British government networks.

And The Times on Saturday quoted what it said was a Pentagon report that 
Chinese military hackers have drawn up a plan to disable the US battle 
carrier fleet through a cyber attack.

Beijing planned to establish "electronic dominance" over its global 
rivals by 2050, particularly the United States, Britain, Russia and 
South Korea, said the daily.

The Pentagon said on Tuesday that several nations and groups had been 
trying to break into the US military's computer system, after the 
Financial Times reported China's military had successfully hacked into 
the network in June.

The Pentagon later indicated that the attacks were coming from "states 
and non-state-owned organisations."

The German weekly Der Spiegel reported that espionage programs traced to 
the PLA had been detected in computer systems at Chancellor Angela 
Merkel's office, the foreign ministry and other government agencies in 
Berlin without identifying its source.

Copyright 2007 News Limited.

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