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Daily Telegraph: Jihadi terrorism and China are business threats

EXTRACT: Yesterday, oil company Royal Dutch Shell’s computer system in Houston, Texas, was said to have been attacked by spies with links to China. And aero-engine company Rolls-Royce is also thought to have been a victim.

Analysts said the hacking into computers was likely to have been attempts to steal secrets that would give the Chinese authorities the upper hand in negotiations for contracts. Shell declined to comment and Rolls-Royce did not return calls.

THE ARTICLE

By Yvette Essen, Insurance Correspondent
Last Updated: 2:05am GMT 04/12/2007

British business was warned to raise its security level amid signs that the threats of terrorism and industrial espionage are increasing.

A major report warns that home-grown Islamist extremism “presents an unprecedented threat” to businesses, while at least two major UK companies have reportedly faced acts of espionage linked to the Chinese government.

Yesterday, a report from Lloyd’s of London insurance market and the International Institute of Strategic Studies said the risk of major economic damage from terrorism had intensified.

Lloyd’s chairman Lord Levene said: “No-one should be in any doubt that home-grown terrorism has the potential to disrupt business significantly. However, although most business leaders are increasingly worried about it, they have also told us that they currently understand very little about what home-grown terrorism risk means for their business.”

He added: “The business community urgently needs to close the gap between growing awareness of the risk and a lack of understanding of what it means in practice.”

The report came as warnings about the threat of Chinese industrial espionage reverberated around Britain’s boardrooms. At the weekend it was disclosed that the head of MI5, Jonathan Richards, had written to 300 chief executives and heads of security at major companies about attack from “Chinese state organisations”.

It followed similar warnings in America, France, and Germany, that Beijing was seeking to steal industrial secrets. China has strongly rejected the suggestions.

Yesterday, oil company Royal Dutch Shell’s computer system in Houston, Texas, was said to have been attacked by spies with links to China. And aero-engine company Rolls-Royce is also thought to have been a victim.

Analysts said the hacking into computers was likely to have been attempts to steal secrets that would give the Chinese authorities the upper hand in negotiations for contracts. Shell declined to comment and Rolls-Royce did not return calls.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/money/main.jhtml?xml=/money/2007/12/04/cnjihad104.xml

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