(Adds written testimony, background)
WASHINGTON, March 10 China's growing
capabilities in cyber-warfare and intelligence gathering are a
"formidable concern" to the United States, the top U.S.
intelligence official told a Senate panel on Thursday.
"The Chinese have made a substantial investment in this
area, they have a very large organization devoted to it and
they're pretty aggressive," Director of National Intelligence
James Clapper told the Senate Armed Services Committee.
"This is just another way in which they glean information
about us and collect on us for technology purposes, so it's a
very formidable concern," he said.
Clapper, addressing questions at an annual hearing on
worldwide security threats, did not elaborate on Chinese cyber
But in his written testimony, the intelligence chief said
2010 saw a "dramatic increase in malicious cyber-activity
targeting U.S. computers and networks." The passage did not
specifically mention China.
Clapper also cited an April 8, 2010, incident in which
state-owned China Telecom advertised erroneous network routes
that instructed "massive volumes" of U.S. and other foreign
Internet traffic to go through Chinese servers for 17 minutes.
"This incident affected traffic to and from U.S. government
and military sites, including sites for the Senate, the Army,
the Navy, the Marine corps, the air force, and the office of
the Secretary of Defense, as well as a number of Fortune 500
firms," he said.
When that incident was revealed in late 2010, China Telecom
denied that it hijacked U.S. Internet traffic. China's standard
response to cyber-attack allegations has been to deny any
connection to them and say it is also a victim of such
(Reporting by Paul Eckert; editing by John Whitesides)
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Keywords: CHINA USA/CYBER
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