Leaked MI5 report sees China as ‘most significant’ spy threat
February 2, 2010 2 Comments
By JOSEPH FITSANAKIS | intelNews.org |
A restricted MI5 report describes China as Britain’s most serious espionage threat, and says British business executives are increasingly targeted by Chinese intelligence operatives. The 14-page document was authored by the Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure, a unit of MI5, Britain’s primary counterintelligence and security agency. In it, the intelligence agencies of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army, as well as the Ministry of State Security, are identified as leaders in a massive targeting of British corporate executives who regularly make business trips to China. The report warns that most of the hotel rooms where they stay are “likely to be bugged”, that they are regularly “searched while the occupants are out of the[ir] room[s]”, and that hotels are frequented by Chinese female intelligence agents, looking “to exploit vulnerabilities such as sexual relationships and illegal activities”. Other government agents cultivate long-term relationships with British (and presumably other foreign) business executives, offering them “lavish hospitality” and “gifts”. The latter often turn out to be digital cameras or memory sticks, which contain stealth Trojan bugs, designed to infect the gift recipient’s computer. The MI5 report follows a similar document recently made public by a US Congressional committee, which identifies the Hong Kong-registered 88 Queensway Group as a front company that acts “as [an arm of the] Chinese intelligence community [and] public security apparatus”.