Just how widespread is Chinese hacking against the US? Well, it's hit pretty much every Washington institution, experts tell the Washington Post. "The dark secret is there is no such thing as a secure unclassified network," says one. "Law firms, think tanks, newspapers—if there’s something of interest, you should assume you’ve been penetrated." Adds a former FBI cyber boss: "I’ve yet to come across a network that hasn’t been breached."
The hackers are looking to map out Washington's power structure, based on the assumption that, as in China, the government has a hand in news organizations and think tanks. One possible hope for the US is that there's simply too much information for China to systematically investigate, the Post notes. "You can waste an enormous amount of time and effort puzzling over something that is totally meaningless," says an expert on China. Meanwhile, Chinese authorities continue to deny government involvement in such schemes.