Feeds

China implicated in Dalai Lama hack plot

Virus attacks

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Build a business case: developing custom apps

China has repeatedly attempted to crack into the Dalai Lama's computer network, according to its administrators.

Over the last month there have been repeated attempts to infect systems used by the exiled spiritual leader. This takes the form of a computer virus which attempts to send information back to China, Jigme Tsering, manager of the Tibetan Computer Resource Centre told AP.

The centre runs Internet services and administers the computer systems of the spiritual leader's government-in-exile, located in Dharmsala, India.

Tsering also alleges that Tibetan lobby groups were also targeted by the unnamed virus, which is designed to fool the unwary by posing as an email from the Dalai Lama's office. Chinese crackers also attempted to break into Tibetan systems in 1999 and 2001, Tsering also believes.

The latest virus-infected emails, capable of lifting confidential files from PCs used by the Centre, were traced back to six different addresses in China, used by government and educational institutions.

This evidence, such as it is, falls short of convincing proof and could be explained by innocent infection of Chinese machines by SirCam, or the like.

AV experts, however, suggest it is possible that China could have developed bespoke malware in an attempt to obtain confidential emails or documents from the Tibetans. Such cyber nasties would have a greater chance of evading detection than well known viruses.

Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos AV, said it was more likely that the reports referred to a piece of malicious spyware or Trojan horse than a conventional virus.

Given the political strains between China and Tibet its not surprising that Tsering has drawn the worst possible inference about a darker purpose behind the virus infected emails.

The allegations come at a time of particular political sensitivity. A Tibetan government in exile was established by the Dalai Lama in 1959, following China's occupation of the mountainous country. AP reports that a delegation of exiled Tibetans is visiting Tibet this month for the first time since 1985.

China is yet to comment publicly on the allegations. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Rupert Murdoch says Google is worse than the NSA
Mr Burns vs. The Chocolate Factory, round three!
e-Borders fiasco: Brits stung for £224m after US IT giant sues UK govt
Defeat to Raytheon branded 'catastrophic result'
Know what Ferguson city needs right now? It's not Anonymous doxing random people
U-turn on vow to identify killer cop after fingering wrong bloke
Germany 'accidentally' snooped on John Kerry and Hillary Clinton
Dragnet surveillance picks up EVERYTHING, USA, m'kay?
Snowden on NSA's MonsterMind TERROR: It may trigger cyberwar
Plus: Syria's internet going down? That was a US cock-up
Who needs hackers? 'Password1' opens a third of all biz doors
GPU-powered pen test yields more bad news about defences and passwords
Think crypto hides you from spooks on Facebook? THINK AGAIN
Traffic fingerprints reveal all, say boffins
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.