Anonymous hackers, who broke into South Korea's state agencies in April, sent a hacking program containing e-mail via China, according to the National Cyber Security Center (NCSC).

An official from the nation's anti-cyber crime institute on Monday said the Peep Trojan hacking programs were attached to an e-mail, which came from China.

The Peep Trojan, which was authored by Taiwanese Wang Ping-an, typically comes in the form of e-mail attachment and executes itself when unsuspecting recipients open the attached files.

Earlier on Saturday, the NCSC said the information-stealing virus infected 64 computers at six government agencies, including a pair of sensitive defense research institutes.

The NCSC official, however, failed to confirm whether or not the hackers are Chinese because they possibly used the mainland as a gateway en route to Korea.

``Even though the e-mail came from China, it doesn't necessarily mean the hackers are Chinese. We will continue to trace the e-mail senders,'' said the official, who declined to be named.

Although the exact nationality of the criminals has yet to be revealed, it is certain they were serious about stealing Korea's confidential information, according to a local online security firm, Hauri.

``We have a sample of the Peep Trojan program which raided the agencies and its attached files have a Korean-language title of `workshop contents and itinerary,''' Hauri official Heo Jae-jun said.

He added this showed the hackers did a lot of preparation to break into the government agencies.

The six invaded agencies include the Korea Institute for Defense Analyses and the Agency for Defense Development, which deal with the nation's defense policy and development of weapons system.

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