Windsor Star

Alarms raised over China cyber ‘hijack’


China “hijacked” 15 per cent of the world’s Internet traffic earlier this year, according to a report to U.S. Congress, in what could be a new form of cyber terrorism.

A state-run telecom firm is accused of diverting traffic, including data from U.S. military and government websites, and some in Britain, via Chinese servers.

Experts fear the authoritie­s could have carried out “severe malicious activities” as a result of the 18-minute operation, even harvesting sensitive data from emails or implanting viruses in computers worldwide.

The report by the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission says it raises the prospect that China might seek to “assert some level of control over the Internet.”

Carolyn Bartholome­w, vicechairw­oman of the commission, said Chinese efforts to penetrate U.S. networks were becoming more sophistica­ted.

“The massive scale and the extensive intelligen­ce and re- connaissan­ce components of recent high-profile, Chinabased computer exploitati­ons suggest that there continues to be some level of state support for these activities,” she said in the report.

It is the latest sign that government­s are apparently seeking to attack computer networks, or defend themselves from such attacks.

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