More than 100 countries infiltrated by electronic spying operation

NEW YORK/TORONTO - A spying operation that infiltrated computers - many of them belonging to governments - in 103 countries has been uncovered by a group of Canadian researchers, the New York Times reported Sunday.

By (DPA)

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Published: Sun 29 Mar 2009, 7:46 PM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 9:00 AM

Victims of the malicious software, or malware, include computers in: the offices of the Dalai Lama; Tibetan exile centres around the world; NATO headquarters in Brussels; and the Indian embassy to the United States.

In all, 1,295 computers might have been accessed and had documents copied by the system, which the researchers dubbed GhostNet.

The report, to be released this week by the Munk Center for International Studies at the University of Toronto, says that the spying system was controlled by computers based almost entirely in China.

It notes that this does not mean the Chinese government is behind the security breach. However, the Times reported several instances where Chinese officials reacted to data that was picked up by GhostNet.

The centre began its investigation after a request from the Dalai Lama’s office to check its computers for potentially damaging software.

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