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Monday, December 3, 2007

Rolls-Royce IT network attacked by Chinese hackers: report

Rolls-Royce IT network attacked by Chinese hackers: report
1 day ago
LONDON (AFP) — Chinese-backed computer hackers attacked the internal computer network of British airplane engine maker Rolls-Royce, The Times said in its Monday edition.
Citing unidentified security sources, the daily said that while the hackers did not manage to get through to the company's sensitive data, the attack earlier this year "nearly took them (Rolls-Royce) out".
According to The Times, Anglo-Dutch energy company Royal Dutch Shell uncovered a spy ring made up of Chinese nationals at its facilities in Houston, in the United States, also earlier this year.

The two companies declined to comment when contacted by The Times.
"The Chinese -- the People's Liberation Army -- have been up to it for a good while, but it has really come to the fore recently," a security source told the paper.
"They tried to get inside Rolls-Royce -- their IT systems.
"They did not get enough inside, but it was a sufficiently big attack to get very worried. They got to the so-called not very important information before being rooted out."
The Times report comes just days after it emerged that the head of Britain's domestic security service warned business leaders that China has been carrying out state-sponsored espionage against vital parts of the economy.

Jonathan Evans, the director-general of MI5, wrote to 300 chief executives and security heads at banks, accountancy and legal firms, warning them they were under attack from "Chinese state organisations" via the Internet.
Rolls-Royce's computer network was apparently infiltrated remotely, by a specially-designed Trojan horse programme, which allows people to gain unauthorised access to a person's computer.
At Shell, meanwhile, the company reportedly discovered a "special interest group" made up of Chinese nationals who were encouraged to socialise outside of work hours.
According to The Times, however, the group was "a front for recruiting Chinese nationals" whose families were still in China and who were told to help "for the good of the motherland."
"It was a form of threat," the security source told the paper.

"This particular European oil company was made aware and uncovered the spying operation, where the Chinese were put under moral pressure to give information."

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