Escalating cyber attacks on Google and other companies alarm government officials who say the U.S. may be powerless to stop the online industrial espionage.
The scale and sophistication of the cyber attacks on Google Inc. and other large U.S. corporations by hackers in China is raising national security concerns that the Asian superpower is escalating its industrial espionage efforts on the Internet.
While the U.S. focus has been primarily on protecting military and state secrets from cyber spying, a new battle is being waged in which corporate computers and the valuable intellectual property they hold have become as much a target of foreign governments as those run by the Pentagon and the CIA.
"This is a watershed moment in the cyber war," James Mulvenon, director of the Center for Intelligence Research and Analysis at Defense Group Inc., a national-security firm, said Thursday. "Before, the Chinese were going after defense targets to modernize the country's military machine. But these intrusions strike at the heart of the American innovation community."