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Germany's domestic secret service targeting economic espionage at confab

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Berlin, Dec 3, IRNA
Germany-Security-Secret Service
Germany's domestic Verfassungsschutz (BfV) intelligence agency is holding a symposium in the western city of Cologne, focusing on the threat of economic espionage to the country.

Titled 'Threat to the economy in the era of globalization', intelligence and economic experts as well as business leaders were to discuss security threats posed by globalization to the German economy.

Discussions were also to zoom on effective measures to counter economic spying which is harming Germany's status as the top lead nation in terms of global exports.

The latest secret service confab followed earlier remarks by German intelligence officials who accused China and Russia of massive economic and political espionage in Germany.

The Russian Federation and the People's Republic of China are involved in large-scale political and economic spying activities in Germany, the head of the BfV counter-espionage division Burkhard Even was quoted saying in a recent interview with DPA.

The top German security official stressed that Russia's secret service apparatus was still placing "highest priority on all facets of political espionage."

"There is no contradiction for Russia's state leadership to pursue good political ties, while carrying on with the illegal collection of information in Germany," Even added.

According to the BfV official, Russia's political espionage is focusing on German foreign, domestic and economic policies as well as the nation's security and energy, NATO and European policies.

Russian secret service agents are reportedly pinpointing German lawmakers and members of their bureaus as well as political parties and foundations for their spying activities.

Meanwhile, Chinese spies who are based in Germany, are interested in German technological know-how and economic policies.

Many Chinese researchers and scientists who are working in German companies, are providing valuable information to Chinese secret service agents.

The German press reported last summer that numerous computers of the German government were infected by Chinese espionage programs.

The so-called 'Trojan' computer programs which enable the unnoticed spying of computers, had been discovered in several ministries earlier this year, the weekly Der Spiegel news magazine cited a probe by the BfV and the Federal Office for Information Technology Security.

Chinese cyber spies snooped reportedly on computers in the chancellery, the foreign and economic ministry as well as the research ministry.

According to the Verfassungschutz, the Chinese hackers are believed to be linked to China's People's Army.

China is continuing its efforts to plant Trojan programs via the Internet on German government computers, Der Spiegel said.

Reacting to the report, the Chinese embassy in Berlin dismissed it as "irresponsible speculation without any basis of proof".

OT/1771



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