China hacked US manufacturing group amid trade talks: report

China hacked US manufacturing group amid trade talks: report
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An influential U.S. manufacturing group was breached by suspected Chinese hackers over the summer amid trade negotiations between the U.S. and China, according to a Reuters report. 

Two sources told the news agency that a cybersecurity firm determined that the attack on the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) was initiated in China.

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The determination was made by identifying hacking tools and methods that have previously been affiliated with Chinese groups, Reuters reported. 

It was not clear what data was taken. 

NAM spokeswoman Erin Streeter told Reuters that because of the group's prominence, “we know we are a target for cyberattacks. We identified suspicious activity relating to certain company systems and investigated the matter.”

She told the news outlet that the network is now secure. 

Both The Hill and Reuters have reached out to the Chinese Embassy. The Hill has also reached out to NAM for additional comments. 

The alleged Chinese hackers reportedly upped their efforts in the days around a meeting between President TrumpDonald John TrumpLawmakers prep ahead of impeachment hearing Democrats gear up for high-stakes Judiciary hearing Warren says she made almost M from legal work over past three decades MORE and NAM's president, Jay Timmons, the sources told Reuters.

The U.S. and China have been in an escalating tariff war for months, and have thus far failed to reach an agreement. Economists have said uncertainty from the trade war is one reason U.S. manufacturing numbers have declined.

Reuters reported that Trump spoke at NAM's annual conference in 2017 and that Timmons called him a “true champion” of U.S. manufacturing.