Vast Spy System Loots Computers in 103 Countries

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In a report to be issued this weekend, researchers at the University of Toronto’s Munk Center for International Studies say a massive electronic spying operation has successfully stolen documents from hundreds of government and private offices around the world. Learn about this vast spy system.

The researchers say the system was controlled by computers almost exclusively in China, but they cannot conclusively say the Chinese government is involved. The researchers were asked by the office of the Dalai Lama to examine its computers for signs of malware and discovered a vast operation that, in less than two years, managed to infiltrate at least 1,295 computers in 103 countries, including computers belonging to many embassies, foreign ministries, other government offices, and the Dalai Lama’s Tibetan exile centers in India, Brussels, London, and New York.

The researchers say that in addition to spying on the Dalai Lama, the system, which they named GhostNet, also focused on governments in South Asian and Southeast Asian countries. GhostNet is by far the largest, in terms of the number of countries affected, spying operation to be exposed, and it is believed that this is the first time that researchers have been able to uncover the workings of computer systems used for intrusions of such magnitude.

Read more on NYTimes.com

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