CHINESE spies have directly targeted Kevin Rudd, repeatedly attempting to infiltrate prime ministerial email and mobile phone communications.
The Australian understands Mr Rudd and his travelling party were under constant cyber attack during his latest trip to China, in August last year, with authorities trying to access the laptop computers and mobile phones used by the Australians.
The blatant nature of Beijing's electronic espionage is understood to have alarmed the Rudd Government and led to a further tightening of communications security procedures for senior government figures travelling to China.
Intelligence sources said Beijing had also made repeated attempts to break into government and business IT networks, as well as foreign embassies based in Canberra.
Last week, the Government blocked Chinese-owned Minmetals from acquiring the Prominent Hill mine in South Australia as part of its $2.6billion bid for OZ Minerals, citing national security concerns because of its proximity to the Woomera weapons testing range.