New York Times hit by Chinese hackers
The New York Times has reported that Chinese hackers, with possible links to the country’s military, have repeatedly infiltrated their computer network over the past four months.
The newspaper has claimed that the hackers obtained the passwords of 53 of their high-profile reporters and other employees, including David Barboza, the author of an investigative report last October into the multi-billion-dollar fortune accumulated by relatives of China’s Premier Wen Jiabao.
Computer security experts hired by the newspaper did not find evidence to suggest that the hackers sought out any information other than that related to the Wen family investigation.
The malware – malicious software used to gain access – was identified by the experts as a type associated with previous computer attacks carried out by the Chinese military.
China’s Ministry of National Defence has vehemently denied the accusations. “To arbitrarily assert and to conclude without hard evidence that China participated in such hacking attacks is totally irresponsible,” said Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei.
“Chinese laws prohibit any action including hacking that damages Internet security,” he added.
This attack follows a similar infiltration of Bloomberg last year, after the newswire published an article detailing the great wealth amassed by the family of Xi Jinping, China’s Vice President at the time of publication.
In an article published on their site on Wednesday, the New York Times said they have now removed every backdoor to their networks, changed all employee passwords and implemented additional security, but still anticipate further hacking attempts.
Lucy Cait Jordan