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Chinese spies targeted Australian PM: report

Chinese spies tried to infiltrate Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s email and mobile phone communications on his visit to Beijing last year.

world Updated: Apr 03, 2009 13:30 IST

Chinese spies tried to infiltrate Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s email and mobile phone communications on his visit to Beijing last year, The Australian newspaper reported on Friday.

Rudd and his travelling party were under constant cyber attack while attending the Olympic Games in August, the paper added, quoting unidentified intelligence sources.

The prime minister, speaking from London where he attended the G20 summit, told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation he had not been informed about the spying attempts.

“No security concerns that I’m aware of have been raised with me or my office,” he said.

But he noted that a national security statement released by the government last December “clearly identified the threat of cyber attacks in Australia and clearly stated the following: ‘This challenge must be and will be met with full vigour´.”

Beijing also made repeated attempts to break into government and business IT networks as well as foreign embassies based in Canberra, The Australian said.

The spying allegations come amidst intense focus on Australia’s ties to China, with Mandarin speaking Rudd accused by the opposition of being too close to Beijing.