Tags: Emerging Threats | Fox News | mike mccaul | hack | government | espionage | china

Rep. McCaul: Govt Records Hack Is 'Classic Espionage' by China

By    |   Monday, 08 Jun 2015 09:04 AM

The data breach that affected 4 million government employees had "the hallmarks of a nation-state attack," House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul said Monday, and he's convinced China "is the culprit."

"This was not an attempt to steal credit card information like we saw at Target and Home Depot," the Texas Republican told Fox News' "Fox & Friends" program. "This is to compromise the federal government."

Story continues below video.

The breach allowed hackers to obtain workers' names, birth dates, Social Security numbers, employment and performance history and financial information, McCaul said, and could be used to "compromise them, either to recruit them as spies or put them in a compromising position.

"It's really classic espionage, but this time over the Internet," McCaul told Fox News.

On Sunday, McCaul told CBS' "Face the Nation" that while the government hasn't yet finalized its investigation into the breach, evidence points to the Chinese government.

"In my judgment this was an attack by China against the United States government," McCaul said on the show. "It quantifies to espionage, and that raises all sorts of issues that we need to deal with."

The Texas lawmaker said he pushed through a bill that has been approved overwhelmingly in the House, but is still sitting in the Senate.

"It would allow us to share these threat indicators so we can block these attacks coming from China and Russia," McCaul told Fox on Monday."We know Iran is hitting our financial sector every day. This is a growing threat. It's here now and it's one of biggest threats that I see on the horizon."

He pointed out that the Islamic State (ISIS) is also using the Internet, particularly Twitter, to send messages to "thousands of followers in the United States in an attempt to activate them to attack the United States, both military and police officers. I'm afraid we're going to see more of these types of attacks"

McCaul, who was also on the MSNBC "Morning Joe" program  on Monday, told that show that the attack is "the new frontier of espionage and China is good at it."

Administration policymakers will need to determine what kind of response should be made, but a proper response has not yet been defined, said McCaul.

"There are no rules of the game in terms of what should be the adequate response to this," he said. "Now first the attribution has to be done by the government to make it very clear without any doubt that it is nation-state based. But remember, North Korea was nation-state based. What was our proportionate response to that?"

Congressional information was not breached in the recent cyberattacks, McCaul told MSNBC.

Watch the video here.

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The recent data breach that affected 4 million government employees had "the hallmarks of a nation-state attack," House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul said Monday, and he's convinced China "is the culprit."
mike mccaul, hack, government, espionage, china, computers
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2015-04-08
Monday, 08 Jun 2015 09:04 AM
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