China ‘hacked European government computers’ prior to G20 summit

G20 Summit participantsBy IAN ALLEN |
A group of hackers from China managed to compromise computer networks belonging to the foreign ministries of several European governments prior to last September’s G20 Summit, according to a private computer security firm. The Summit, which took place in St. Petersburg, Russia, on September 5 and 6 of this year, brought together the heads of state of 20 major economies, including the United States and many European Union countries. The meeting agenda was dominated by discussions concerning the response of the international community to the chemical attacks in Ghouta, Syria. According to the Reuters news agency, the hackers managed to infiltrate carefully targeted computer networks by sending emails containing infected attachments to employees of foreign ministries. The attached files bore titles such as “US_military_options_in_Syria”, which appeared designed to bear reference to the upcoming G20 Summit. The hacking revelations were made by FireEye, Inc., a California-based security firm, which says it has proof the hackers came from China. The firm says its confidence on the matters stems from “a variety of technical evidence”, such as the language used on the control server used by the hackers, as well as the types of machines that were used to test the virus before it was deployed. FireEye said its experts were able to keep tabs on the “inner workings” of the primary computer server that the hackers used to monitor the compromised computer networks. However, shortly before the Summit begun, the hackers migrated to another server, at which point the FireEye team lost contact with them. Read more of this post

Files reveal previously unknown UK-Soviet diplomatic scuffle

Aubone Pyke

Aubone Pyke

A previously unknown fracas between two British diplomatic officials, their wives, and a team of Soviet intelligence agents, has been revealed in declassified British government reports. The documents, which were released last weekend, show that two employees of the British embassy in Moscow were detained, along with their wives, allegedly for photographing a Soviet military installation. The British diplomats were Lieutenant-Commanders Ian Clapham and Aubone Pyke, who was the embassy’s assistant military attaché. Escorted by their wives, the two officials were allegedly taking a tour of Leningrad (now St. Petersburg), in February of 1979, when a group of “about 25” Soviet intelligence agents rapidly approached them. The agents proceeded to confiscate a cameral belonging to Pyke, after rapidly pulling down his trousers, an old trick aimed to prevent a suspect from running away. Read more of this post

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