‘Ghostnet’ and the New World of Espionage

The German government is constantly the target of hackers seeking to insert spy programs into its computer systems. The attacks, often originating in China, are becoming more and more sophisticated.It sounded definitive and reassuring when Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao, during German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s visit to China in the summer of 2007, promised that his government would take “determined” and “forceful” measures to prevent hacker attacks. Wen’s concession was not entirely voluntary. Shortly before Merkel’s trip, SPIEGEL had reported on massive hacker attacks on the German government, which German intelligence officials had traced to servers in various Chinese provinces.

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