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German government and companies attacked by Chinese hackers

  • Staff Reporter
  • 2013-02-26
  • 08:49 (GMT+8)
The German Chancellery was a target of Chinese hackers. (Photo/Xinhua)

The German Chancellery was a target of Chinese hackers. (Photo/Xinhua)

Chinese hackers have recently turned their attention to the government and private enterprises in Germany, according to the Berlin-based broadcaster Deutsche Welle.

Hackers from China already pose a major threat to the national security of the US, internet security firm Mandiant said in a recent report. The now infamous attacks on major US newspapers such as the New York Times, Washington Post and Wall Street Journal earlier this month were allegedly carried out by Chinese hackers trained by and under the command of China's military, said the firm, which conducted hundreds of trace investigations all leading to the same government-owned building on the outskirts of Shanghai.

Deutsche Welle also reported that governmental organizations and enterprises in Germany are being targeted in the "cyber warfare against the West" launched by the Chinese government. Even the German delegation attending the G20 conference last February came under cyber attack from China, reported German magazine Der Spiegel. Potential government targets included the German chancellery, foreign office and economic ministry. Private organizations reported as suffering hacking attacks include the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company, ThyssenKrupp and Bayer.

The attacks against German enterprises by Chinese hackers was confirmed by the ThyssenKrupp in 2012, though the company was not able to confirm if any crucial information was stolen.

To deal with the hackers, a cyber center was set up by the German interior ministry in 2011. The Federal Intelligence Service is also planning a similar organization to counter future cyber threats from China.

Accusations of Chinese hacking attacks by Western media have been strenuously denied by China's foreign ministry, which claims that China too has been a victim of cyber attacks and says hacking is a global issue rather than a matter between particular countries.

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