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White House to Combat China, Int'l Cyber Spies

The White House is worrying about the rise of cybertheft at the highest levels of government, the role played by China’s military.
By Chana Ya'ar
First Publish: 2/22/2013, 2:42 AM

Hackers (illustrative)
Hackers (illustrative)
Flash90

The White House is worrying about the rise of cybertheft at the highest levels of government, and in particular, about the role played by China’s military in the ranks of the cyber spies.

China's army controls hundreds if not thousands of virulent and cutting-edge hackers, according to a report Tuesday by a U.S. Internet security firm that traced a host of cyberattacks to an anonymous building in Shanghai. 

The firm, Mandiant, said its hundreds of investigations showed that groups hacking into U.S. newspapers, government agencies, and companies "are based primarily in China and that the Chinese government is aware of them," AFP reported.

On Wednesday, the Obama administration unveiled its new strategy to block the theft of U.S. trade secrets -- in part to combat the trend. 

The announcement came two days after the release of the report, which warned that more than 100 U.S. companies had been drained of their technology secrets by just such spies over the past seven years.

The plan is aimed at blunting China’s criminal edge – and that of any other cyber thieves – and increasing the security of America’s competitive advantage in foreign markets. 

According to the new policy document, “the pace of economic espionage and trade secret theft against U.S. corporations is accelerating.” The bottom line, said the report, is to secure American jobs by ensuring export prospects around the globe.