By Thomas Claburn
November 20, 2008
Chinese cyberattacks on civilian, government, and military networks are
rising, a congressional advisory committee warned in a report released
Thursday, and the United States needs to bolster its defenses and engage
with allies and Chinese authorities to clarify the consequences of
aggression in cyberspace.
"China is targeting U.S. government and commercial computers for
espionage," says the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review
Commission's (USCC) 2008 Annual Report to Congress. "Alan Paller from
the SANS Institute, an Internet security company, believes that in 2007
the 10 most prominent U.S. defense contractors, including Raytheon,
Lockheed Martin, Boeing, and Northrop Grumman, were victims of
cyberespionage through penetrations of their unclassified networks."
Citing examples of Chinese espionage, the report looks back to 2005 at
an incident in which hackers from China stole files related to NASA's
Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter that detailed the space vehicle's propulsion
system, solar panels, and fuel tanks. It also cites an incident that
same year in which the aviation mission planning system for Army
helicopters and related software were stolen from the Army Aviation and
Missile Command at Redstone Arsenal in Alabama.
More recent examples abound. On Nov. 18, Quan-Sheng Shu, a Chinese-born
scientist who worked in Virginia, pleaded guilty to selling U.S.
military rocket technology to China.
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