WW3 fears: Chinese spies can listen to conversations of 'any member of the British public”

Beijing’s espionage agents are able to intercept satellite and cable ­communications remotely from bases within China. It is now feared they are able to get access to phone conversations. Speaking to the Daily Mirror a former UK military intelligence officer has said China is also able to intercept non-encrypted calls between even the UK military and government officials.

He said: “China has a very sophisticated capability when it comes to phone intercepts.

“Military can assume their calls, if they aren’t encrypted, can be intercepted.

“No matter how ­innocent the calls may seem, they could be of value.

“Meeting timings, names of other callers, dates, times and places.

READ MORE: BBC warns of ‘global threat to free media’ as China ban row explodes

Officials were then told the hack was by a foreign power.

The most likely source of the attack was a cyber-espionage unit from either Russia or China.

An MoD source revealed: “They said it’s the work of a foreign power.

“Everyone was told to use their personal laptops and computers.

“This was because the work ones have been compromised.

“It is going to take at least five weeks to fix.”

The US claimed Beijing was behind the hack on Microsoft’s Exchange email software at the beginning of March.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said: “This is an active threat.

“Everyone running these servers, government, private sector, academia, needs to act now to patch them.”

The attackers used Microsoft’s mail server to attack their targets.

It is reported that tens of thousands of US organisations were impacted.

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