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British Secret Service Accuses Spies of Bugging U.K. Exhibitors


By Antony Reeve-Crook, deputy managing editor, Mash Media

London, England – The British secret service has accused China of “bugging and burgling” U.K. exhibitors and businesses at international trade fairs in a 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 U.K. businessmen at trade fairs 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 officials 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 U.K. 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 U.K.” because of its use of these methods, as well as widespread electronic hacking.

Reach Antony Reeve-Crook, deputy managing editor, Mash Media at +44 (0)208 971 8282 or

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