Business, Finance & Economics

Report: US blames China, Russia for cyberattacks


China and Russia have stolen troves of US intel, according to a US report.


Sean Gallup

A report from US intelligence agencies concluded Chinese and Russian cyberattacks have stolen large amounts of high-tech American research and information to improve their economies, the AP reported

The first detailed public accusation of its kind pointed at China and Russia from US officials, the report released Thursday said foreign-led computer attacks are on the rise and pose a threat to the security of the US economy. The report labels China as the world’s most active cyberattacker.

The criticized report, which Beijing and Moscow have yet to publicly comment, comes after years of US efforts to stymie attacks that have mostly come from China. A diplomatic cable revealed last year called attention to US concerns that China was hiring top hackers to infiltrate software code. 

From the report: "the governments of China and Russia will remain aggressive and capable collectors of sensitive U.S. economic information and technologies, particularly in cyberspace."

A Chinese-planned cyberattack was believed to have targeted 48 defense companies mostly from the US, UK and Bangladesh that ran from late July to the middle of October, security firm Symantec said.

Despite the US being one of the most targeted countries of cyberattacks, U.S. security officials said a severe shortage exists of security specialists in the country who are skilled enough to combat hackers.

"You go looking for those people, but everybody else is looking for the same thousand people," Alan Paller, research director of a D.C.-based security insitute, told NPR. "So they're just being pushed around from NSA to CIA to DHS to Boeing. It's a mess."

The intelligence report said the most desired data include data on the clean energy, health care, pharmaceuticals and military technology–particularly unmanned aircraft and other aerospace technology.

The Pentagon started a pilot program to help detect and block cyberattacks, the AP reported.