Information Warfare: Ghost Net

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March 30, 2009: Nearly a year ago, the Dali Lama asked computer security experts to examine whether his computers, and those of organizations that support freedom for Tibet (which the Dali Lama is the exiled spiritual leader of). Soon, more experts at the University of Toronto were also called in, and after ten months of carefully examining thousands of PCs, it was discovered that 1,200 computers belonging to anti-Chinese Tibet groups, and other governments they were in communication with, had been infected with a hidden computer program (a virus inserted by hackers) that gave control of the computers to someone, or some group, in China. The security experts dubbed the clandestine hackers effort, Ghost Net. The University of Toronto team did not accuse the Chinese government of being behind this Cyber War operation, although they did find evidence of the Chinese government taking advantage of information gathered by Ghost Net. Some at the University of Toronto speculated this might actually be a CIA operation, to try and discredit China.

When confronted with all this evidence, the Chinese government denied any knowledge of it. Computer security researchers at Cambridge University in Britain, who participated in the investigation, do accuse China of being responsible for Ghost Net. 

 

 


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