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China denies cyber spy report

CHINA yesterday denied rumors that it is running an electronic eavesdropping network that hacked government Websites around the world, calling the reports pure fiction.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang made the remarks at a regular news conference in response to a question concerning the "Chinese cyber spy network."

Qin said the Chinese government has always attached great importance to the security of the computer network and severely cracks down on all crimes that damage the Internet, including hacking.

"There is a ghost called the Cold War and a virus called the Theory of China's Threat overseas," the spokesman said.

"Some people, possessed by this ghost and infected with this virus, 'fall ill' from time to time. Their attempts at using rumors to disgrace China will never succeed," Qin said.

According to media reports, a Canadian Internet-based research group in Toronto said that a cyber spy network based mainly in China had tapped into classified documents from government and private organizations in 1,295 computers in 103 countries.

Among the sites infiltrated from China were embassies, foreign ministries and government offices, especially across Southeast and South Asia, and the Dalai Lama's centers, the Canadian researchers said in the report, released over the weekend.

The report suggested that many of the computers used to control the virus appeared to be run from Hainan, the southernmost province of China.

But it also said it was hard to definitively prove the link and that alternative explanations are possible.


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