The New York times has accused Chinese hackers of infiltrating its computer system, stealing reporters’ passwords and searching for files on an investigation into Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao’s finances.
The attacks began mid-September, around the same time the newspaper was investigating how the family of Jiabao built a fortune worth over $2 billion US. The report was published on Oct. 25, embarrassing the Communist Party leadership.
The hackers eventually lifted computer passwords of all employees at the Times, using them to get into the personal computers of 53 employees.
The Chinese, however, have denied the Times’s accusations.
“To rashly jump to conclusions based on investigation results which have not been proved by evidence is totally irresponsible behavior,” said spokesman, Hong Lei.
The Chinese Defense Ministry declined to comment.
The computer security firm Mandiant is still unsure how the hackers initially penetrated the Times’s computer systems.