Cyber attacks hurt China's credibility: U.S. official

BEIJING Tue Apr 9, 2013 7:58am EDT

Robert Hormats (C), U.S. Under Secretary of State for Economic, Business, and Agricultural Affairs, delivers a speech at the 6th U.S.-China Internet Industry Forum (UCIIF) in Beijing, April 9, 2013. REUTERS/Jason Lee

Robert Hormats (C), U.S. Under Secretary of State for Economic, Business, and Agricultural Affairs, delivers a speech at the 6th U.S.-China Internet Industry Forum (UCIIF) in Beijing, April 9, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Jason Lee

BEIJING (Reuters) - Cyber attacks against the United States from China are eroding the country's credibility and scaring off potential foreign investors afraid of losing their intellectual property, a senior U.S. official said on Tuesday.

The sheer scale of hacking attacks from China bred mistrust in the U.S. government as well as the business community, said Robert Hormats, U.S. under secretary of state for economic growth, energy and the environment.

China has repeatedly dismissed the accusations as groundless and claims it is the victim of a vigorous cyber campaign by the United States.

"The cyber intrusions are particularly troubling because they've gotten so much visibility lately that the intensified visibility is really undermining a lot of business confidence of people who would otherwise invest here," Hormats told Reuters.

"So it's hurt Chinese interests," he said after speaking at a U.S.-China Internet industry forum. "The Chinese really need to take a look at this and decide if it's in their interest for these policies to continue."

Hormats said it was difficult to determine the precise origins of the attacks. A U.S. computer security company released a report in February in which it said much of the hacking came from China.

"It's important to have a dialogue on this, but it's also important that the dialogue be a means to an end, and the end is really ending these practices", Hormats said.

China does not abuse the Internet, and countries should not attack other countries using Internet resources, Qian Xiaoqian, China's vice minister of the State Internet Information Office, earlier told the forum.

China suffered more than 6,600 attacks by computers based overseas in January and February, he said.

"We shouldn't militarize cyberspace," he said. "Such attacks violate the rights of other countries and also moral standards."

Chinese and U.S. speakers at the forum urged dialogue to iron out differences.

"As the world's two largest economies, both dependent on the Internet, China and the U.S. must work together to address this problem, on behalf of our own citizens, our own companies, and our own institutions," U.S. Ambassador Gary Locke said.

(Reporting by Terril Yue Jones; Editing by Jonathan Standing)

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Comments (5)
AdamSmith wrote:
China’s economy as measured by GDP is expected to surpass America’s in just a few more years. By many measures, its economy already exceeds America’s, for example in manufacturing output, in electricity production, etc.

China’s population is 1.3 billion compared to America’s 315 million. That’s 4 times larger.

China already has TWICE as many internet users than America has. In a cyber war, China has a vastly larger army of patriotic citizen hackers.

What is so baffling is the fact that American companies, in their selfish greed, careless of the interests of America as a nation, have bribed the American congress to create the H1B Visa program.

By this H1B visa program, tens of thousands of young Chinese citizens, for low wages, are allowed to enter America on temporary visas to work in American corporations, and attend American universities, in order to drive down wage rates of American tech workers.

The Chinese H1B Visa recipients then take what they learn in America back to China, to work for Chinese companies or the Chinese military.

This is how utterly corrupt the American Senate and House of Representatives has become. And, of course, the American President. They are totally controlled by money. Treason most pure.

Apr 09, 2013 10:06am EDT  --  Report as abuse
StigTW wrote:
Doesn’t Symantec list the US as the #1 Country in it’s Malicious Code by Source. Seems like the US needs to point fingers at it’s own backyard first…

Apr 09, 2013 11:33am EDT  --  Report as abuse
Janeallen wrote:
Hormats is either a hypocrite or is fooled by his own people.
The American Government is the biggest cyber hacker and interferes with truth gathering, interference with communication presented to the U.S. President as well as with the head of Homeland Security.

The biggest enemy of the United States is within its own Government.

Apr 12, 2013 8:17pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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