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Experts Track Sophisticated Computer Espionage Gang to China

A China-based intricate cyber-espionage has been tracked and documented by a group of computer security experts of the US. The team is co-led by the researchers of University of Toronto. Dubbed as 'Shadow', the sophisticated network targeted the systems in various countries, such as the computers associated with the military and the government of India. The new report is titled as- "Shadows in the Cloud: An Investigation into Cyberespionage 2.0".

More than 700 stolen documents from the government of India were verified and recovered by the researchers. These included the documents labeled as classified, restricted and confidential.

The new report brings out that Shadow is the most recent example of cyber-espionage attempts associated with China, such as the attacks on Gmail system of Google which resulted in shutting down the banned search engine, developed specially for China. Similar to other such networks, such as GhostNtet, which is the first ever political-espionage network, was a malware targeted which is believed to have permitted cyber-attackers to attack particular computer systems.

According to the report, traced to Chengdu, in Sichuan province in China, this cyber-espionage association behind Shadow network, made the use of blogs and social media to manage the systems they had compromised via malware.

The report maintained that the researchers, in total, identified 3 accounts with the Twitter, 5 accounts of Yahoo Mail, 12 Google Groups, 8 Blogs of Blogspot, 9 blocks of Baidu, one Google Sites and 16 blog.com blogs were being brought in use as a part of infrastructure of attackers, as per the reports published by Computerworld on April6, 2010. Notably, these services were not compromised, but were being misused.

Interlopers thieved the documents associated with the movement of NATO-North Atlantic Treaty Association forces in Afghanistan. This clearly illustrates that though the attackers primarily targeted Indian government, many nations can get vulnerable due to a single gap in computer security, report says.

According to the Director of Citizen Lab at the Munk School of Global Affairs of the University of Toronto, Ron Deibert, a majority of users are unaware of an enormous cybercrime ecosystem of the cyberspace, and it's for the second time that this ecology has been unearthed and associated with political espionage, as reported by thestar on April 6, 2010.

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