Jun 12 2008
WASHINGTON — Hackers believed to be operating from China have broken into computers in Congress, apparently in search of information on Chinese dissidents, two GOP lawmakers said Wednesday.
The hackers were not identified, but one of the lawmakers, Rep. Christopher H. Smith of New Jersey, a senior Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said he thought all signs pointed to the Chinese government.
Federal authorities have been increasingly concerned in recent years about the Chinese government’s aggressive deployment of scientists, engineers, foreign businessmen, students and others to sweep up U.S. technology and information. Protecting the United States against cyber attacks and high-tech crimes is the FBI’s third priority, behind combating terrorism and public corruption.
The extent of the intrusions on Capitol Hill, which officials said began in August 2006, was unclear, although Rep. Frank R. Wolf (R-Va.), whose office had four computers affected, said that other members of Congress were targeted, as well as at least one congressional committee. “They got everything,” Wolf said at a news briefing, describing the attack on his office systems.
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