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Chinese hacking of Indian security data raises alarm

Researchers find no evidence linking the hacking to China 's government , but May Their discoveries suggest a wider problem of growing espionage in cyberspace .

April 07, 2010 Mark Magnier and Anshul Rana

Reporting from Phnom Penh , Cambodia, and New Delhi - The world is in a cyber arms race and needs to take steps to reverse it , said the authors of a report released Tuesday detailed the EXTENSIVE That theft by Chinese hackers of Indian national security information , 1,500 e- mails from the Dalai Lama 's office and other sensitive information .
Canadian and U.S
. Researchers at the University of Toronto Monitored the hacking of a " shadow" spy network over eight months , tracking it to computer servers based in China and to Individuals in the city of Chengdu in central China.
"The relationship Between the Chinese state and the hacking community is quite unclear , " said Nart Villeneuve , chief research officer at Canada 's SecDev Group, a private think tank , Working with the university 's Munk Center for International Studies.
" That I do not doubt the information May just find its way to theChinese government , " Villeneuve said in a global webcast for reporters , " but as of now we have no hard evidence to prove That Were the hackers backed by the Chinese government Were or working for them. "
China denied any role , dismissing the report 's content and as little more than unsubstantiated rumor.
" I do not know what evidence or what These People Have Their motives are , " said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu. " We resolutely Oppose all forms of cyber crime , including hacking . "
The authors of the report , titled " Shadows in the Cloud " and Involving the Information Warfare Monitor and Shadowserver Foundation groups , Said That They were not surprised by China 's reaction but That the evidence speaks for itself .
The report describes a world in Which Governments are racing to militarize cyberspace , creating an environment ripe for crime and espionage .
The authors said about 700 documents marked restricted , secret or top secret Were stolen from India. China 's neighbor is one of many Developing Countries That Have Not paid enough attention to security in Their headlong embrace of new technologies , said Ron Diebert , another member of the team unveiled That the hacking activity .
Among the documents found compromised Were presentations in India on the Pechora surface- to-air missile system , the Iron Dome missile defense system mobile and Project Shakti, an artillery combat command and control system .
Researchers said the Dalai Lama allowed the team to carry out its inquiry after his e- mail system was hacked .
They Said That neither the Chinese government nor the Chinese hacker community is monolithic , and the Researchers are trying to work With That part of the government wants to fight That hacking .
"The attacks we uncovered Were not random but very targeted , and to us it Suggests That There is a shift from an Industrial espionage to political espionage Not Necessarily backed by a state , " said Diebert .
Sufyan is a special correspondent . Times Beijing bureau chief Barbara Demick Contributed to this report .
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