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

Captured IS Militants Explain Why They Fought

Fighters from Turkey, Syria tell VOA Kurdish Service what drew them to extremism, jihad More

Security Experts Split on Kenyan Barrier Wall

Experts divided on whether initiative aiming to keep out al-Shabab militants is long-awaited solution or misguided effort More

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Officials say they hope to turn Manila into the next Macau, which has long been Asia’s gambling hub 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.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More