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

Turkey: No Ransom Paid for Release of Hostages Held by IS Militants

President Erdogan hails release of hostages as diplomatic success but declines to be drawn on whether their release freed Ankara's hand to take more active stance against insurgents More

Audio Sierra Leone Official Pleased With Ebola Containment Measure

Official says three-day sensitization effort will help reduce infection rate of Ebola disease nationwide More

US Pivot to Asia Demands Delicate Balancing Act

As the tumult in the Middle East distracts Obama, shifting American focus eastward appears threatened 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.
Fears Ebola Outbreak ‘Beyond Our Capability to Contain’i
X
Jeff Seldin
September 20, 2014 10:28 PM
Each day brings with it new warnings about the deadly Ebola outbreak already blamed for killing more than 2,600 people across West Africa. And while countries and international organizations like the United Nations are starting to come through on promises of help for those most affected, the unprecedented speed with which the virus has spread is raising questions about the international response. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from Washington.
Video

Video Fears Ebola Outbreak ‘Beyond Our Capability to Contain’

Each day brings with it new warnings about the deadly Ebola outbreak already blamed for killing more than 2,600 people across West Africa. And while countries and international organizations like the United Nations are starting to come through on promises of help for those most affected, the unprecedented speed with which the virus has spread is raising questions about the international response. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from Washington.
Video

Video Iran, World Powers Seek Progress in Nuclear Talks

Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany, known as the P5 + 1, have started a new round of talks on Iran's nuclear program. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports that as the negotiations take place in New York, a U.S. envoy is questioning Iran's commitment to peaceful nuclear activity.
Video

Video Obama Goes to UN With Islamic State, Ebola on Agenda

President Obama goes to the United Nations General Assembly to rally nations to support a coalition against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria. He also will look for nations to back his plan to fight the Ebola virus in West Africa. As VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports, Obama’s efforts reflect new moves by the U.S. administration to take a leading role in addressing world crises.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Militant Assault in Syria Displaces Thousands of Kurds

A major assault by Islamic State militants on Kurds in Syria has sent a wave of new refugees to the Turkish border, where they were stopped by Turkish border security. Turkey is already hosting about 700,000 Syrian refugees who fled the civil war between the government and the opposition. But the government in Ankara has a history of strained relations with Turkey's Kurdish minority. Zlatica Hoke reports Turkey is asking for international help.
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid