Three major U.S. newspapers The Washington Post, The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal reported recently that Chinese intruders hacked into their computer networks, snooping for passwords and information about coverage of China.
The intrusions at The Times and the Journal coincided with an extraordinary period in recent months, during which China's leaders and their extended families were shown by investigative newspaper reports in the papers to have amassed huge fortunes and one of China's most prominent politicians, Bo Xilai, fell from grace in a corruption scandal.
China denies carrying out cyber-espionage, theft and disruption. But there is a growing amount of evidence that it is behind one of history's great heists of intellectual property, a vast and multi-tentacled collection drive aimed at corporations, the U.S. government, universities, stock exchanges and think tanks, among others. The newspapers are only the latest example of companies that found footprints of the Chinese cyber-dragon in their corridors.