House Intel chairman urges White House to elevate cyber talks with China
The Pentagon report marked the first time the U.S. military had directly attributed attacks on U.S. government computer systems to the Chinese government.
China has vehemently denied the claims. A Chinese Defense Ministry spokesman told state-run news service Xinhua that the military has “firm opposition” to the report.
Rogers said the Pentagon report’s findings “may be the biggest open secret in the world, but it clearly shows the aggressiveness and sophistication of nation-state hackers and it is concerning.”
The Obama administration has toughened up its tone toward China about the alleged cyberattacks stemming from within its borders, but it has been hesitant to blame the government for online attacks against U.S. computer systems. In a speech earlier this year, Tom Donilon, the president’s national security adviser, called on China to take steps to crack down on hackers and recognize the scope of the problem.
The White House has also said it would use “trade policy tools” to pressure other countries to clamp down on hacker attacks against U.S. companies.
In a March speech, White House Cybersecurity Coordinator Michael Daniel said officials might consider financial sanctions, visa restrictions and military action as tools to use against foreign hackers who target U.S. networks. However, Daniel also noted that the administration is still weighing when a hacking incident will prompt a response from the federal government.
Rogers has long accused China of hacking into the computers of U.S. companies and the federal government in order to steal valuable intelligence that it could use to bolster its own military defenses and commercial industries.
Rogers, along with House Intelligence Committee ranking member Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-Md.), conducted a yearlong investigation into China-based Huawei and concluded that the telecom company’s equipment could be used to spy on U.S. companies.
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