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Industrial Espionage

Industrial espionage has recently been the focus of several major films such as Duplicity staring Julia Roberts, where the object of the two industrial spies was to get the secrets from rival ‘skincare’ corporations. It showed some serious hacking into faxes and computers that looked too futuristic to be real until the recent news where a major cyber spy network was uncovered using equipment that sounded similar to that used in the film.

Recent Canadian headlines reported that an electronic spy network has infiltrated computers from government offices and companies around the world, exposing some serious industrial skullduggery.

Analysts say the attacks are in effect industrial espionage, with hackers showing an interest in the activities of lawmakers and major companies.

The report comes after a 10-month investigation by the Information Warfare Monitor (IWM), comprising of researchers from Ottawa-based think tank SecDev Group and the University of Toronto's Munk Centre for International Studies.

The system, which they called GhostNet, installed malware on compromised computers and hackers were able to take control of them to send and receive classified data.

In this case, the software also gave hackers the ability to use audio and video recording devices to monitor the rooms the computers were in. Reported in the New York Times, the spying operation is the largest to have been uncovered in terms of the number of countries affected.

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