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Facing a cyber threat

Friday, June 03, 2011 - 02:38

June 2 - Reports of cyber attacks against U.S. companies by Chinese hackers cause concern within the U.S. government. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.

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Washington scrambled Thursday to assess whether security was compromised after Google said hackers from central China tried to break in to the personal Gmail accounts of hundreds of users, including senior U.S. government officials. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. SOUNDBITE: U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, saying (English): "We are obviously very concerned about this announcement regarding a campaign that the company believes originated in China to collect the passwords of Google email account holders. Google informed the State Department of this situation yesterday in advance of it's public announcement. These allegations are very serious. We take them seriously, we're looking into them." Google's announcement fueled debate over China's intentions in cyberspace, which the United States has identified as a potential flashpoint for future conflict. Neither Google nor the U.S. government has said the Chinese government was behind the attacks. Google only said the attack appeared to originate in China. Beijing nevertheless reacted angrily to Google's charge, saying it was "unacceptable" to blame Beijing. U.S. officials, speaking on background, said they had no indication of any security breach. Nick Levay, is with the Center for American Progress. SOUNDBITE: Nick Levay, is with the Center for American Progress, saying (English): "I don't believe China has any reason or incentive to back off of their attacks. So far there hasn't been a downside for them. It's arguable that China's activities in cyber space may be part of their deterrent strategy against the West. They have shown us exactly how vulnerable we are and that makes them look very powerful and obviously everybody wants to look powerful and capable." The U.S. Defense Department, says more than 100 foreign intelligence organizations have been trying to break into U.S. networks. Lockheed Martin, the Pentagon's No. 1 supplier said Saturday that it had thwarted "a significant and tenacious" attack on its information systems network that it detected May 21. Deborah Lutterbeck, Reuters

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Facing a cyber threat

Friday, June 03, 2011 - 02:38