Saturday, July 3, 2010

It's not just the Russians who are spying on the U.S.

The arrest of 11 people on charges of espionage for the Russian government was a case of old-fashioned spy craft straight from the annals of the Cold War: dead drops, moles and communicating in code, known as steganography. Yet Russia is not alone in trying to crack U.S. secrets. China is engaged in a massive espionage effort against the United States that exceeds Russian efforts on a crucial front: Cyber espionage.

The Chinese military — namely the People's Liberation Army — is behind many of the cyber intrusions into U.S. government and corporate computer networks as part of a broad effort to steal technological, military and political secrets. This form of espionage costs the United States hundreds of billions of dollars per year and represents a dangerous threat to U.S. national security. In early 2010, news reports from Washington indicated that Google, along with other U.S.-based corporations, was being hacked by unnamed parties in China. A progressive political organization, Patriot Majority, asked me and a team of journalists and researchers to investigate the likeliest source of the attacks. After combing through government documents, military land technical literature we concluded the Chinese military was likely behind many cyber intrusions against the United States.


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