Hackers, most likely from China, have been spying on governments and businesses in Southeast Asia and India uninterrupted for a decade, researchers at internet security company FireEye Inc said.
In a report released on Monday, FireEye said the cyber espionage operations dated back to at least 2005 and "focused on targets -- government and commercial -- who hold key political, economic and military information about the region."
"Such a sustained, planned development effort coupled with the (hacking) group's regional targets and mission, lead us to believe that this activity is state-sponsored -- most likely the Chinese government," the report's authors said.
Bryce Boland, Chief Technology Officer for Asia Pacific at FireEye and co-author of the report, said the attack was still ongoing, noting that the servers the attackers used were still operational, and that FireEye continued to see attacks against its customers, who number among the targets.
Reuters couldn't independently confirm any of the assertions made in the report.
China has always denied accusations that it uses the Internet to spy on governments, organizations and companies.
Asked about the FireEye report on Monday, foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei said: "I want to stress that the Chinese government resolutely bans and cracks down on any hacking acts. This position is clear and consistent. Hacking attacks are a joint problem faced by the international community and need to be dealt with cooperatively rather than via mutual censure."
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