Computer espionage network reaches 103 countries

Nearly 575,000 cards compromised in attack

At the request of the Delai Lama’s office, a Canadian team of researchers analyzed the computers in the Tibetan network in exile and identified an electronic espionage network that would have affected 103 countries, including Portugal. According to the report, 1,295 computers were hit, 30% of which belong to high-value targets.

The investigation by the Information Warfare Monitor (IWM), which is part of the SecDev Group and analysts at the University of Toronto’s Munk Center for International Studies, lasted 10 months and has now been released through the report «Tracking GhostNet: Investigating a Cyber ​​Espionage Network».

The computers affected by this espionage network belonged mainly to ministries of foreign affairs, embassies and other people and entities that had connections with the spiritual leader of the Tibetan people. Researchers admit that this GhostNet network may have originated in China, according to circumstantial data that point in that direction, but they are cautious, drawing no conclusions in this regard.

Computers from the ministries of Bangladesh, Barbados, Brunei, Bhutan, Latvia, Indonesia, Iran and the Philippines have been infected. Countries with compromised embassies include Portugal but also Germany, Cyprus, South Korea, India, Pakistan, Romania, Thailand and Taiwan.

It should be recalled that it had recently been reported that the website of the Portuguese embassy in New Delhi had registered problems with hackers and was temporarily disabled.

A PowerPoint presentation of the report can be viewed here