Roger Boyes of the TIMESONLINE reports:
Der Spiegel, quoting senior officials from the German equivalent of Special Branch, said that the hacking operation was discovered in May. Computers in the Chancellery, the Foreign, Economics and Research ministries had been targeted. The Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV) conducted a comprehensive search of government IT installations and prevented a further 160 giga-bytes of information being transferred to China. Commentators described it as “the biggest digital defence ever mounted by the German state”.
The information was being siphoned off almost daily by hackers in Lanzhou, northern China, in Canton province and in Beijing. The scale and the nature of the data being stolen suggest, the investigators say, that the operation must have been steered by the State and, in particular, the People’s Liberation Army.
Naturally, the Chinese are denying involvement, but this isn't the first time we've heard of them hacking into systems, or committing government/corporate espionage.
Here are a couple of posts, I wrote awhile ago where U.S. government computers were the target:
How Dangerous is China
The Hackers from China are at it AGAIN!
Last year, the FBI arrested two men stealing technology secrets and attempting to take them to China. Their press release on this matter can be seen, here.
USA Today (David J. Lynch) also did an excellent article quoting FBI sources about the problem, which can be seen, here.
We need to start considering the consequences of continuing to allow this to go on unchecked.
Roger Boyes story (worth reading), here.