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.