Feeds

Britain warns businesses of Chinese 'honey trap'

Sex, spies, and memory sticks

SANS - Survey on application security programs

Britain's MI5 security service has accused the Chinese government of engaging in an unusually wide-ranging campaign to breach UK business computer networks, in some cases exploiting sexual relationships to pressure individuals to cooperate.

The so-called "honey trap" methods were aimed at business executives at trade shows and exhibitions and involved offers of "lavish hospitality and flattery," according to an article in The Sunday Times. The New York Times quickly confirmed the report. The effort also involved the giving of digital cameras and memory sticks designed to surreptitiously install malware on users' PCs.

The Sunday Times cited a 14-page document titled "The Threat from Chinese Espionage" that was prepared in 2008 by MI5's Center for the Protection of National Infrastructure. A "restricted" version of the document was distributed to hundreds of British financial institutions and businesses. It described attacks on British defense, energy, communications, and manufacturing companies. It specifically named the Chinese government as engaging in the honey trap campaigns.

"Chinese intelligence services have also been known to exploit vulnerabilities such as sexual relationships and illegal activities to pressurize individuals to cooperate with them," it stated. "Hotel rooms in major Chinese cities such as Beijing and Shanghai which have been frequented by foreigners are likely to be bugged. Hotel rooms have been searched while the occupants are out of the room."

The report, which was issued more than a year ago, followed an earlier MI5 letter distributed in late 2007 that warned some 300 leaders of British businesses to be on the lookout for state-sponsored Chinese hackers carrying out electronic surveillance attacks. ®

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
Parent gabfest Mumsnet hit by SSL bug: My heart bleeds, grins hacker
Natter-board tells middle-class Britain to purée its passwords
Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked in just 4 DAYS
Sammy's newbie cooked slower than iPhone, also costs more to build
Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report
If the spooks say they need it, they get it
Web data BLEEDOUT: Users to feel the pain as Heartbleed bug revealed
Vendors and ISPs have work to do updating firmware - if it's possible to fix this
Snowden-inspired crypto-email service Lavaboom launches
German service pays tribute to Lavabit
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Call of Duty 'fragged using OpenSSL's Heartbleed exploit'
So it begins ... or maybe not, says one analyst
NSA denies it knew about and USED Heartbleed encryption flaw for TWO YEARS
Agency forgets it exists to protect communications, not just spy on them
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a defence for mobile apps
In this whitepaper learn the various considerations for defending mobile applications; from the mobile application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies needed to properly assess mobile applications risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.