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December 10, 2013

Chinese hackers ‘eavesdropped’ on EU ministers ahead of G20 meeting

Hackers gained access to computer networks by sending emails with infected files to staff.

By CBR Staff Writer

A Chinese hacking group penetrated the computers of five European member states ahead of last year’s G20 Summit, the latest research by security firm FireEye has revealed.

Hackers gained access to ministries’ computer networks by sending emails with infected files to staff with titles including ‘US_military_options_in_Syria,’ breaching the system of five unnamed foreign ministries.

According to Reuters, the security company reported the attacks to the victims via the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

FireEye researcher Nart Villeneuve said that the attacks contained information about possible US military intervention in Syria.

"That seems to indicate something more than intellectual property theft…The intent was to target those involved with the G20," Villeneuve said.

The US firm was able to identify the hackers’ origin from China based on technical facts such as language used on their control server, and the devices deployed to check their malicious code.

"All we have is technical data. There is no way to determine that from technical data," Villeneuve said.

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