Tags: Canada | cyber | spy | ring

Canada Cracks Major Chinese Cyber Spy Ring

Wednesday, 07 Apr 2010 09:20 AM

TORONTO — Researchers in Canada who cracked a major international cyber espionage ring are calling on the federal government to take a leading international role in combating online crime.

The attackers — largely based in Chengdu, China — used popular tools like Twitter, blog posts and online e-mail accounts to gain control of computers and steal more than 700 high-level political documents, including confidential files about a missile system from India's national security establishment; Canadian visa applications; mission reports and travel plans belonging to the United Nations; and 1,500 e-mails sent by the Dalai Lama's office last year.

According to the "partial glimpse" the researchers took into the malware network over several months, computers belonging to the University of Western Ontario and the Times of India were also affected, among others.

The identity of the attackers is still unknown, as are their motives, but the researchers were able to glean circumstantial evidence providing their locations and possible associations.

Lead researcher Greg Walton said the attacks were deliberate and politically targeted.

"They suggest to us a shift is occurring from criminal and industrial espionage in cyberspace to a possibility of political espionage, whether that is directed by government or not," Walton said.

The findings underscore the need for policy, international information sharing and law enforcement to crack these kinds of cases, the researchers say.

"When it comes to cyber espionage and cyber security, there are no rules of the road, which is why we feel very strongly that this is an area that needs an urgent redress. It's an area that we think Canada could take an active role in leading," said Walton, a researcher with the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto.

"We believe that there needs to be action taken at a global level to ensure that information between law enforcement, intelligence and researchers on investigations like this can make its way to the right parties."

To read full Montreal Gazette story — Go Here Now.

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TORONTO — Researchers in Canada who cracked a major international cyber espionage ring are calling on the federal government to take a leading international role in combating online crime.
Canada,cyber,spy,ring
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2010-20-07
Wednesday, 07 Apr 2010 09:20 AM
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