Is China hacking into Congress computers?

June 12, 2008

Is China hacking into Congress computers?Hackers in China managed to break into several computers belonging to Congress and its state representatives. A few Congressmen have chosen to publicly discuss the issue, though details are fuzzy.

The victims include Frank Wolf of Virginia, who says four of his computers were hacked, and Chris Smith of New Jersey, who says two of his machines were hit as well, reports the Register. According to what the representatives currently know, Wolf was first attacked in August 2006, and Smith’s machines were breached in December 2006 and March 2007. The computers of several other congressmen (and likely senators) have also suffered the same fate.

The attackers worked from China, and, oddly enough, it turns out Wolfe and Smith often criticize China’s history and policies regarding human rights. After a lot of important information was stolen — including the addresses of several Chinese dissidents — a car belonging to Chinese officials visited one those locations, taking plenty of pictures during the visit.

That’s sounds really, really scary, and we don’t know (does the government even know?) if the Chinese government was involved. Either way, Wolf’s making sure it doesn’t happen again, and he’s making several suggestions to both sides of the House in order to avoid another similar incident.

 

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4 Responses to “Is China hacking into Congress computers?”

  1. Rob:

    I understand that the packet IPs correspond to a Chinese server, but as we all know, IPs can be spoofed. So, either 1) the hackers didn’t care if the IPs got traced to China, 2) they intended the IPs be so traced, 3) they were careless or stupid, or 4) the IPs were spoofed and the actual location is somewhere else, perhaps inside the US- perhaps from a Washington embassy for example. (Gosh! Did I say that!?)

  2. jim:

    This is no way for US congressmen to know that the hacking is from China. Computer hacking is very difficult to trace. Anybody can set up computer proxy that can appears originated from China. Unless the US congressmen can come up with some evidents (normally that would require coordination from Chinese govenmment), the story is most political statement in an election year.

  3. Zephon:

    So it is my understanding that these computers were not up on anti-spyware software updates. That these congressmen went to known web sites with malware on them. And then they blame others for their failure to secure their computers.

    What fools! Grow up and join the new world. You have to run anti-virus and anti-spyware software, update security patches on your computer, and do not go to sites with malware on them.

    These congressmen are just trying to drum up anti-China fervor by supporting known anti-chinese groups for infections on their computers that happened 2 years ago. China has every right to view these groups the same way Americans view Osama Bin Laden and Al-queda.

  4. diyet:

    These congressmen are just trying to drum up anti-China fervor by supporting known anti-chinese groups for infections on their computers that happened 2 years ago

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