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Rio, BHP, Fortescue Hit by China Computer Hackers, ABC Reports

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April 19 (Bloomberg) -- Rio Tinto Group faced cyber attacks from China at about the time of the arrest of four executives in the country, while BHP Billiton Ltd. and Fortescue Metals Group Ltd. have also been hit, Australian Broadcasting Corp. reported.

Hackers attacked Rio’s computer network last year, ABC said on its ‘Four Corners’ program, citing former employees and an Australian government official it didn’t identify. Rio took its Singapore office offline for almost three days to boost security while its Perth office was also affected, the program said.

Rio Tinto spokeswoman Christina Mills declined to comment.

BHP was targeted by hackers during a takeover bid for Rio, ABC reported, citing an unidentified former BHP executive. Ruban Yogarajah, a spokesman for BHP in London, wouldn’t comment.

Fortescue upgraded security after hackers sought to access its systems in Perth and the Pilbara in Australia, ABC said, citing mining executives it didn’t name. The company doesn’t comment on security, spokesman Cameron Morse said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jesse Riseborough in London at jriseborough@bloomberg.net;

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Simon Casey at scasey4@bloomberg.net;