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TORONTO (AP) - A cyber spy network based mainly in China hacked into classified documents from government and private organizations in 103 countries, including the computers of the Dalai Lama and Tibetan exiles, Canadian researchers said Saturday.
The work of the Information Warfare Monitor initially focused on allegations of Chinese cyber espionage against the Tibetan community in exile, and eventually led to a much wider network of compromised machines, the Internet-based research group.
The network, dubbed GhostNet, appears to target embassies, media groups, NGOs, international organisations, government foreign ministries and the offices of the Dalai Lama, leader of the Tibetan exile movement. The researchers, based at Toronto University's Munk Centre for International Studies, said their discovery had profound implications.
"This report serves as a wake-up call... these are major disruptive capabilities that the professional information security community, as well as policymakers, need to come to terms with rapidly," said researchers Ron Deibert and Rafal Rohozinski.