|French government falls prey to cyber-attacks "involving China"
by Staff Writers
Paris (AFP) Sept 8, 2007
French information systems fell prey to cyber attacks "involving China", similar to those reported by the US, British and German governments, a top French security offical told AFP on Saturday.
"We have indications that our information systems were the object of attacks, like in the other countries," the Secretary-General of National Defence (SGDN) Francis Delon said, confirming a report published in French newspaper Le Monde.
"We have proof that there is involvement with China. But I am prudent. When I say China, this does not mean the Chinese government. We don't have any indication now that it it was done by the Chinese People's Liberation Army," he added.
Asked which computer systems had been hacked, Delon said they "concerned the services of the (French) state."
A source close to the issue said the French defence ministry's public Internet site was targeted, but that it contained no confidential information. The attack was made by cyber saboteurs to "test information technology defences."
China vehemently denied that its army was involved in international computer espionage on Thursday after newspaper reports that the British government had sustained cyber attacks from the Chinese.
"Saying that the Chinese military has made cyber attacks on the networks of foreign governments is groundless and irresponsible and are a result of ulterior motives," foreign ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said.
The Times and The Independent newspapers in London said that Chinese computer hackers had infiltrated British government networks.
And The Times on Saturday quoted what it said was a Pentagon report that Chinese military hackers have drawn up a plan to disable the US battle carrier fleet through a cyber attack.
Beijing planned to establish "electronic dominance" over its global rivals by 2050, particularly the United States, Britain, Russia and South Korea, said the daily.
The Pentagon said on Tuesday that several nations and groups had been trying to break into the US military's computer system, after the Financial Times reported China's military had successfully hacked into the network in June.
The Pentagon later indicated that the attacks were coming from "states and non-state-owned organisations."
The German weekly Der Spiegel reported that espionage programs traced to the PLA had been detected in computer systems at Chancellor Angela Merkel's office, the foreign ministry and other government agencies in Berlin without identifying its source.