China at Heart of Sweeping Cyberspying War on US
Economic espionage is costing America billions
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Feb 11, 2013 8:05 AM CST
A major cyberspying effort against the US has been going on for years, intelligence officials say.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – The past five years have seen a mammoth international effort to spy on the computer systems of US businesses and other institutions, an intelligence report finds—and China is by far the biggest threat. The goal: to gather economic information to benefit the spying countries, the Washington Post reports. Targeted industries range from financial to auto to information technology, according to the widely accepted National Intelligence Estimate. Military-tied companies like Lockheed Martin are reportedly also a frequent target.

The damage so far could range from $25 billion to $100 billion, or up to 0.5% of GDP, experts say. Cyberspying is "just so widespread that it’s known to be a national issue at this point," says an Obama administration official. Russia, Israel, and France have also delved into electronic espionage, but to a far lesser extent than Beijing, according to the report. Chinese officials deny such hacking. The White House is taking action on the issue after some say it's been put aside for too long. The administration could log official protests, send home Chinese diplomats, or limit Chinese visa rights, the Post notes. The New York Times and Wall Street Journal are among several newspapers to cite recent hacking, the Daily Intelligencer notes.

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Showing 3 of 23 comments
Feb 14, 2013 4:46 AM CST
Old Hannah Montana shows?
Feb 12, 2013 5:15 AM CST
China to Iran and North Korea: Just keep the U.S. worried and distracted, O.K.? We'll cut the ground out from underneath them, while they're not looking.
Feb 11, 2013 9:39 PM CST
Let's see, do you think China heard about the U.S. Submarines sitting on Russia's data cable and collected all the top secret info that help bring down the Russian economy? Ever heard of turn about is fair play? It is said, "All's fair in love and war." Today? "ALL'S FAIR IN CORPORATE CORRUPTION!" AIG, Goldman Sachs, Lehman Brothers, JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America and Morgan Stanley investigated by the U.S. Attorney General. Read more: Be a shyster, fleece the sheep with impunity! NOT ONE OF THESE CORPORATE PUKES WENT TO PRISON!