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"None of us would be very surprised or be uncomfortable saying we strongly suspect the Chinese authorities are involved in spying this way," said Cluley, a senior technology consultant for security firm Sophos in Britain.
"I think we are seeing a steady escalation" of sophistication in hacking, Cluley said. "This is really the new era of cybercrime. We’ve moved from kids in their bedroom and financially motivated crime to state-sponsored cybercrime, which is interested in stealing secrets and getting military or commercial advantage."
Associated Press writers Gillian Wong and Joe McDonald contributed to this report.
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