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Chinese cyber attacks target German ministers

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Chinese cyber attacks target German ministers
Photo: DPA
08:09 CEST+02:00
Chinese cyber attacks on German computers rose sharply in number last year and included attempted penetrations of government ministers' PCs, according to a Wednesday media report.

Even as Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao wrapped up a glittering visit to promote trade and a closer relationship, daily Bild reported the dramatic increase in attacks by Chinese hackers, whom the Cologne-based Bundesverfassungsschutz intelligence agency believes are working for Chinese intelligence.

Angela Merkel had discussed the issue with Wen during their talks, Bild reported. Germany and China held their first joint cabinet meeting Tuesday and inked more than $15 billion in business deals amid deepening economic and political ties between the two countries.

The Bundesverfassungsschutz's latest report says the number of “electronic attacks” on German federal officials in 2010 was 2,108, which is about 600 more than the previous year, the paper wrote.

“Most of the attacks aimed at federal officials and German business, because of their characteristics, can be assigned an origin in China,” the intelligence report says.

The report also said: “Influential people (eg. ministers, state secretaries, department heads) as well as positions that deal intensively with issues to do with China were commonly attacked.”

The attacks had the identical characteristics of aiming at “strategic and lasting intelligence-gathering.”

The Local/djw

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