Tags: us | cyber | spying | china

US Target of Massive Cyber-Spying Attacks

Monday, 11 Feb 2013 01:15 PM

By Christiana Lilly

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The United States is the target of a sustained cyberspying campaign led most aggressively by China that threatens the nation's economic competitiveness, according to The Washington Post.

A new assessment by the National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) says massive cyber attacks from China and other countries are aimed at penetrating the computer systems of U.S. businesses and institutions in search of any information that could be put to their own economic advantage.

According to The Post, NIE has been closely examining computer hacking over the past five years aimed at various sectors of the U.S. economy, ranging from the automotive and aerospace sectors to energy, finance and information technology. Its analysis found that the hacking has resulted in the loss of about $100 billion to the U.S. economy.

The countries of Russia, Israel and France were identified by NIE as threats, but none of them compare to China, which The Post said directs its attacks at commercial contracting companies that work closely with the U.S. military, such as Lockheed Martin, the target of an attack in 2011.

Newspaper systems are also vulnerable, as revealed by recent reports that The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Wall Street Journal may have been compromised by cyber-assaults from China.

Beijing, meanwhile, has denied any responsibility for the attacks or involvement in computer hacking.

In an effort to counter cyber-espionage, The Post said the administration is planning to release an executive order this week that would encourage private-sector companies to share their threat information with the government.

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