Journalists in China Targeted by Cyber Attack

According to an investigation by a team of Canadian researchers, foreign journalists operating in China are being subjected to malware attacks.

The malware surrenders control of the infected to computer to a remote user.

Journalists receive emails alleging to be from the economic editor who is planning a trip to China. Attached is a PDF file that contains a relatively accurate list of local contacts. When the PDF is opened, malware installs itself on the user’s computer.

The malware has been traced to servers in Taiwan and the researchers have notified the proper authorities. The researchers, based at the Munk Centre for International Studies at the University of Toronto, recently discovered the systematic attacks and believe them to be linked to the upcoming 60th anniversary of the founding of communist China. In the build up to the celebrations, the Chinese government has undertaken additional security precautions and researchers believe this may be part of that effort.

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