Congressmen say Chinese hacked their PCs

Congressmen say Chinese hacked their PCs
Congressmen say Chinese hacked their PCs 

By Dan Goodin in San Francisco
The Register
11th June 2008

Lawmakes are urging everyone on Capitol Hill to have their computers 
checked for malware after discovering that people working from inside 
China hacked into multiple congressional machines and accessed locations 
of Chinese dissidents and other sensitive data.

Virginia Representative Frank Wolf said four of his PCs were 
compromised, beginning in August 2006. New Jersey Representative Chris 
Smith, said two of his machines were hacked in December 2006 and March 
2007. Both congressmen, who are long-time critics of China's record on 
human rights, said the PCs of other lawmakers had also been breached but 
declined to give names.

Following the attacks on Wolf's computers, a car with license plates 
belonging to Chinese officials went to the home of a dissident near 
Washington and photographed it. The congressman said FBI investigators 
who looked into the breach traced the attacks to machines located in 
China. He said he's known about the attacks for a long time but that he 
had been discouraged from discussing them by people in the US government 
he declined to identify.

"The problem has been that no one wants to talk about this issue," he 
said [1]. "Every time I've started to do something I've been told 'You 
can't do this.' A lot of people have made it very, very difficult."

Wolf suggested members of the Senate have also been victims of computer 
intrusion. He called for better education for members of Congress about 
the dangers of cyber attacks and urged members to have their machines 
checked. He said he was introducing a resolution that would tighten 
security of House computers and information systems. In the Senate, 
Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois asked the sergeant at arms to 
investigate whether Senate computers have been breached.

Smith said the attacks on his machines were "were very much an 
orchestrated effort." His office no longer stores the names of Chinese 
dissidents on computers, he said.


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