10/10/2011 08:57 EDT | Updated 12/10/2011 05:12 EST

German government denies use of Trojan horse program to spy on people

BERLIN - Germany's Interior Ministry says no federal security services were involved in using a Trojan horse program to spy on people through their computers.

The Chaos Computer Club hacker network said it had analyzed a copy of the malware received from unidentified sources, and claimed it was a government surveillance program.

But Interior Ministry spokesman Markus Beyer told reporters no federal agencies were involved, and noted that the program used was around three years old and widely available.

Angela Merkel's spokesman Steffen Seibert said on Twitter that the chancellor takes the situation "very seriously" and is asking states to clarify whether Trojan horse programs have been used.