News / USA

US Report Highlights Economic Threat of Hacking

Computer screen shows a password attack in progress at computer security training program in Northfield, Vermont., undated.
Computer screen shows a password attack in progress at computer security training program in Northfield, Vermont., undated.
VOA News
U.S. officials say hackers pose a threat to the nation's economy and accuse China of carrying out the most cyber-attacks.
 
The assessment is in a classified "National Intelligence Estimate" that officials described to U.S. media, including The Washington Post. A published report says hackers are targeting the energy, finance, information technology, aerospace and automotive sectors.
 
Some estimates put the cost to the U.S. economy at tens of billions of dollars each year. Brad Glosserman, executive director of the Hawaii-based Pacific Forum think tank, said it is difficult to identify the true sources of cyber espionage.
 
"Attacks have been on the rise without question," he said, explaining that, often, even experts can only guy where the attacks are coming from.
 
"As for the vulnerabilities to the financial sector, I would assume that's correct, but I would suggest that the vulnerabilities are throughout the U.S. economy," he added. "The problem is that many people do not like to speak about these things because either they're unaware they are being attacked or very reluctant to publicize their vulnerabilities."
 
The White House is considering responses to cyber-attacks, including trade actions and visa restrictions. The Washington Post says President Barack Obama is expected to issue an executive order on cyber security soon, intended to help private companies defend themselves against hacking.
 
The newspaper says the report also names Russia, Israel and France as countries that gather economic intelligence through cyber-attacks.
 
Several U.S. newspapers, including the Post, The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times accuse Chinese hackers of infiltrating their computer systems. The Chinese Foreign Ministry denies the allegations.
 
Duncan Clarke of Stanford University, who also chairs BDA — a China-based investment and advisory firm — said that if China is responsible for directing corporate espionage, it would be to help Chinese companies compete with their U.S. rivals. He said a government could harm its own economy if it responds too harshly.
 
"The risk is in overreacting, particularly without explicit evidence, that you cause protectionist tendencies," he said. "There have already been issues at Huawei and ZTE, which are China's champion telecom equipment companies, denying them access to U.S. markets. And we have not seen that level of concern in other countries, so the risk is that you actually hurt your own interests by taking too hard a line on this."
 
The U.S. government has been concerned for years about the "significant and growing" threat of hackers stealing data for economic gain, and a report in The Wall Street Journal says businesses have long been well aware of the problem. So far, Washington's response has included everything from giving written guidance to businesses on intellectual property crimes, to setting up a toll-free number to report problems, to unsuccessful efforts to get Congress to pass legislation on the issue.
 
President Obama says foreign governments and criminals are looking into U.S. financial, energy and public safety systems "every day." Outgoing Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta issued a strong warning about the threat of cyber-attacks in a speech in October.
 
He says the U.S. military has put $3 billion into cyber security efforts.

Additional reporting by Victor Beattie.

You May Like

HRW: Egypt's Trial of Morsi ‘Badly Flawed’

Human Rights Watch says former Egypt leader's detention without charge for more than three weeks after his removal from office violated Egyptian law; government rejects criticism More

Photogallery Lancet Report Calls for Major Investment in Surgery

In its report published by The Lancet, panel of experts says people are dying from conditions easily treated in the operating room such as hernia, appendicitis, obstructed labor, and serious fractures More

Music Industry Under Sway of Digital Revolution

Millions of people in every corner of the Earth now can enjoy a vast variety and quantity of music in a way that has never before been possible More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Luz from: ca
February 11, 2013 11:57 AM
Seeking the profit is the only principle of an enterprise in asian and EU. May I ask a question why asian company usually has a longer life than US? Some experts think advantage of techniques makes great contribution of the competitive capability, however, in most cases, when company spent millions dollars and many years on developing, their new idea or product will be easily copied by other countries ..

in a word, when the cost of development does not match with the profit earning, nobody like to spend their funding. When companies realize their environment can not protect them, they even select bankrupt Therefore, if US can not resolve the problems of internet piracy, the international patent copy....this country will sooner lose their product competition, their companies will go bankrupt, their employee will lose their positions, whole nation will lost income...

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Study: Insecticide Damaging Wild Bee Populationsi
X
April 24, 2015 10:13 PM
A popular but controversial type of insecticide is damaging important wild bee populations, according to a new study. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Study: Insecticide Damaging Wild Bee Populations

A popular but controversial type of insecticide is damaging important wild bee populations, according to a new study. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Data Servers Could Heat Private Homes

As every computer owner knows, when their machines run a complex program they get pretty hot. In fact, cooling the processors can be expensive, especially when you're dealing with huge banks of computer servers. But what if that energy could heat private homes? VOA’s George Putic reports that a Dutch energy firm aims to do just that.
Video

Video Cinema That Crosses Borders Showcased at Tribeca Film Festival

Among the nearly 100 feature length films being shown at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City are more than 20 documentaries and features with international appeal, from a film about a Congolese businessman in China, to documentaries shot in Pakistan and diaspora communities in the U.S., to a poetic look at disaffected South African youth. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video UN Confronts Threat of Young Radicals

The radicalization and recruitment of young people into Islamist extremist groups has become a growing challenge for governments worldwide. On Thursday, the U.N. Security Council heard from experts on the issue, which has become a potent threat to international peace and security. VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports.
Video

Video Growing Numbers of Turks Discover Armenian Ancestry

In a climate of improved tolerance, growing numbers of people in Turkey are discovering their grandmothers were Armenian. Hundreds of thousands of Armenians escaped the mass deportations and slaughter of the early 1900's by forced conversion to Islam. Or, Armenian children were taken in by Turkish families and assimilated. Now their stories are increasingly being heard. Dorian Jones reports from Istanbul that the revelations are viewed as an important step.
Video

Video Migrants Trek Through Western Balkans to Reach EU

Migrants from Africa and other places are finding different routes into the European Union in search of a better life. The Associated Press followed one clandestine group to document their trek through the western Balkans to Hungary. Zlatica Hoke reports that the migrants started using that route about four years ago. Since then, it has become the second-most popular path into Western Europe, after the option of sailing from North Africa to Italy.
Video

Video TIME Magazine Honors Activists, Pioneers Seen as Influential

TIME Magazine has released its list of celebrities, leaders and activists, whom it deems the world’s “most influential” in 2015. VOA's Ramon Taylor reports from New York.
Video

Video US Businesses See Cuba as New Frontier

The Obama administration's opening toward Cuba is giving U.S. companies hope they'll be able to do business in Cuba despite the continuation of the U.S. economic embargo against the communist nation. Some American companies have been able to export some products to Cuba, but the recent lifting of Cuba's terrorism designation could relax other restrictions. As VOA's Daniela Schrier reports, corporate heavy hitters are lining up to head across the Florida Straits - though experts urge caution.
Video

Video Kenya Launches Police Recruitment Drive After Terror Attacks

Kenya launched a major police recruitment drive this week as part of a large-scale effort to boost security following a recent spate of terror attacks. VOA’s Gabe Joselow reports that allegations of corruption in the process are raising old concerns about the integrity of Kenya’s security forces.
Video

Video Japan, China in Race for Asia High-Speed Rail Projects

A lucrative competition is underway in Asia for billions of dollars in high-speed rail projects. Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia Thailand and Vietnam are among the countries planning to move onto the fast track. They are negotiating with Japan and the upstart Chinese who are locked in a duel to revolutionize transportation across Asia. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok has details.
Video

Video Scientists: Mosquitoes Attracted By Our Genes

Some people always seem to get bitten by mosquitoes more than others. Now, scientists have proved that is really the case - and they say it’s all because of genes. It’s hoped the research might lead to new preventative treatments for diseases like malaria, as Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Bible Museum Coming to Washington DC

Washington is the center of American political power and also home to some of the nation’s most visited museums. A new one that will showcase the Bible has skeptics questioning the motives of its conservative Christian funders. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Armenia and Politics of Word 'Genocide'

A century ago this April, hundreds of thousands of Armenians of the Turkish Ottoman empire were deported and massacred, and their culture erased from their traditional lands. While broadly accepted by the U.N. and at least 20 countries as “genocide”, the United States and Turkey have resisted using that word to describe the atrocities that stretched from 1915 to 1923. But Armenians have never forgotten.
Video

Video Afghan First Lady Pledges No Roll Back on Women's Rights

Afghan First Lady Rula Ghani, named one of Time's 100 Most Influential, says women should take part in talks with Taliban. VOA's Rokhsar Azamee has more from Kabul.
Video

Video New Brain Mapping Techniques Could Ease Chronic Pain

From Boulder, Colorado, Shelley Schlender reports that new methods for mapping pain in the brain are providing validation for chronic pain and might someday guide better treatment.

VOA Blogs