Hackers from China have targeted computers in the Prime Minister's Office (PMO). Headlines Today has learnt that the sinister attempt was made around December 15 last year. Investigators are still coming to terms with the depth of the damage. The hackers had aimed high - their targets were the cream of India's national security set-up: National Security Advisor M.K. Narayanan, Cabinet Secretary K.M. Chandrashekhar, PM's Special Envoy Shyam Saran and Deputy National Security Advisor Shekhar Dutt. The four and up to 26 others were squarely in the crosshairs of the hacking attempt. Top sources told Headlines Today that investigators are trying hard to find out who these hackers were and whether this was a devious espionage attempt by the Chinese government itself. When Headlines Today contacted the PMO regarding the espionage attempt, a spokesperson said no classified information had been breached, but added: "There are routine attempts to hack into various systems. The PMO has its own system in place to protect against such attempts." A top PMO official, whose e-mail account was cracked by the Chinese hackers, confirmed the espionage bid, saying: "These kind of hacking attempts are made. To think they are not made is wrong. The internet or intranet is not used for official purposes." According to Bharat Karnad, a strategic affairs analyst, "China wants war by all means. It doesn't believe in peacetime. For China, it's always rivals, always competition." Pavan Duggal, chairman of Cyber Law and IT Act Committee, says: "China is very active in cyberspace. It has raised a cyber army of about 3,00,000 people and their only job is to intrude upon secured networks of other countries. All this is all aimed at supremacy. Every country must set up cyber armies to counter China." R.S.N. Singh, a former RAW officer, says: "China wants to dominate and control this space. This cyber army has soldiers not in uniform but anybody and everybody, maybe college students. It's very serious as cyber warfare can bring a country to a crippling halt." The timing of the espionage attempt has investigators suspecting that the Chinese hackers were desperately trying to access any data on India's position at the Copenhagen Climate Summit. Until Prime Minister Manmohan Singh arrived in Copenhagen on December 17, Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh and PM's Special Envoy Shyam Saran were singing different tunes. While Ramesh was in favour of scrapping the Kyoto Protocol, Saran was against the move. On December 15 when India's final stand was still shrouded in mystery, the Chinese hackers targeted the PMO computers. But what has disturbed investigators the most is that the Chinese hackers quite likely had inside help. The possibility of a mole within the Indian establishment helping a foreign adversary is staring investigators in the face. And the technology being used is preoccupying the Indian sleuths no end. The espionage attempt was highly evolved and well-researched. The mail was routed through several multi-proxy servers thus obliterating the trail. The hacking spyware itself was embedded in a PDF document. And the trojan was programmed to carry out an array of functions, including downloading files, accessing emails and passwords and also accessing the desktop from a remote location. Chinese hackers target PMO computers : India Today - Latest Breaking News from India, World, Business, Cricket, Sports, Bollywood.