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China denies Internet hijack


18 minutes allegation baseless
China has denied US allegations it ''hijacked'' highly sensitive internet traffic earlier this year.

Yesterday the US claimed that a state-owned telecoms company in China had access to 15 per cent of global internet traffic, including confidential emails from NASA and the US Army, for 18 minutes. The state-owned company accused of ''hijacking'' the encrypted information, China Telecom, yesterday denied ''any hijack of internet traffic" and the Government has also claimed it was not involved.

If the US claims were true it would represent ''one of the biggest hijacks'' of sensitive information in the history of the internet. The US report said that some 15 per cent of global internet traffic was routed through Chinese servers earlier this year, prompting worries that the country now has access to sensitive correspondence from US government bodies.

However the US view is backed by Dimitri Alperovitch from McAfee who detected a routing announcement from China's state-controlled telecommunications company, China Telecom, which advertised 15 percent of the world's Internet routes. For at least the next 18 minutes, up until China Telecom withdrew the announcement, a significant portion of the world's Internet traffic was redirected through China to reach its final destination.

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