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US calls out Russia and China over hacking attacks

Intelligence report pulls no punches
Fri Nov 04 2011, 10:15

A US GOVERNMENT REPORT has come out swinging at Russia and China, and accused the countries of hacking and spying.

The report titled "Foreign Spies Stealing US Economic Secrets in Cyberspace" is dated October and comes from the Office of Counter Intelligence. It says that hacking attacks are increasing on government and financial institutions. A graphic in the report shows the Wall Street sign and some Chinese currency, just in case we were in any doubt of where it was going.

Although Russia is a player on the battleground of US computer systems, China and its attacks dominate the US report (pdf). That country, though its government has always vehemently denied suggestions of hacking, is not spared in the report, which suggests that Chinese hackers are behind an "onslaught" of attacks.

The report is the latest in a series of scare stories that seemed to culminate in London this week with a cyber security conference where the spectre of hacking attacks from every angle was raised and discussed repeatedly.

With this report the US seems to be upping its game however, and if you were looking for accusations being thrown at other countries you got them.

"We judge that the governments of China and Russia will remain aggressive and capable collectors of sensitive US economic information and technologies, particularly in cyberspace," it says as its looks towards its own country's future.

It also says that attacks that happened between 2009 and 2011 and were attempts to steal proprietary information worth millions of dollars from US firms, and lose them profits as a result, "[appear] to have originated in China."

"China and Russia view themselves as strategic competitors of the United States and are the most aggressive collectors of US economic information and technology," it says.

Repeated statements suggest that the report is trying to encourage businesses and organisations to come forward with information on attacks as soon as they happen, rather than leaving them to come to government attention later.

"Attribution is especially difficult when the event occurs weeks or months before the victims request intelligence community (IC) or law enforcement help," it says.

"Chinese actors are the world's most active and persistent perpetrators of economic espionage. US private sector firms and cybersecurity specialists have reported an onslaught of computer network intrusions that have originated in China, but the IC cannot confirm who was responsible." µ

 

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