Friday, June 13, 2008

U.S. Congressional Systems Targeted for Chinese Dissident Info - Maybe

Two U.S. congressmen have gone public accusing China as the source of intrusions into their computer systems searching for information on Chinese dissidents.

"Two congressmen, both longtime critics of Beijing's record on human rights, said the compromised computers contained information about political dissidents from around the world. One of the lawmakers said he'd been discouraged from disclosing the computer attacks by other U.S. officials.

"Rep. Frank Wolf, R-Va., said four of his computers were compromised beginning in 2006. New Jersey Rep. Chris Smith, a senior Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said two of the computers at his global human rights subcommittee were attacked in December 2006 and March 2007.

"Wolf said that following one of the attacks, a car with license plates belonging to Chinese officials went to the home of a dissident in Fairfax County, Va., outside Washington and photographed it."

The article discusses other potential intrusions in the US government systems from China and attempts by investigators to keep the attacks secret:

"Wolf said the FBI had told him that computers of other House members and at least one House committee had been accessed by sources working from inside China. The Virginia Republican suggested that Senate computers could have been attacked as well.

"He said the hacking of computers in his Capitol Hill office began in August 2006, that he had known about it for a long time and that he had been discouraged from disclosing it by people in the U.S. government he refused to identify.

"The problem has been that no one wants to talk about this issue," he said. "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."

"The FBI and the White House declined to comment.

"The Bush administration has been increasingly reluctant publicly to discuss or acknowledge cyber attacks, especially ones traced to China."

Other articles have been published discussing the lack of specific evidence that the source of these attacks is actually China and discusses the difficulty in determining both source and motive.

Lawmakers say Capitol computers hacked by Chinese

Weak Evidence Links Congressmen's Cyber-attacks to China

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