The British secret service has accused China of ‘bugging and burgling’ UK exhibitors and businesses at international trade fairs in an bid to obtain sensitive commercial secrets.
A leaked document allegedly written by MI5’s Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure claims undercover intelligence officers from the People’s Liberation Army and the Ministry of Public Security in China, approached UK businessmen at trade fairs and exhibitions with “gifts” and “lavish hospitality”.
These gifts, in the form of cameras and memory sticks, have been found to contain electronic Trojan bugs which provide the Chinese with remote access to user’s computers, according to a report in The Sunday Times.
The hospitality, referred to in the report as a series of concerted “honeytraps”, are, in select cases, a bid to blackmail UK businesses into betraying sensitive commercial information.
Key targets for the subterfuge include business exhibitors in the energy, communications and manufacturing sectors.
The report says MI5 believes the Chinese government “represents one of the most significant espionage threats to the UK” because of its use of these methods, as well as widespread electronic hacking.
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