US investigators trace cyber-espionage to China
The US authorities are reported to have traced several recent major hacking incidents to China. According to a report in Tuesday's Wall Street Journal, which cites informed sources, the incidents include the hacking of both defence contractor Lockheed Martin and RSA. RSA produces the SecurID access tokens and counts US government agencies among its customers.
US investigators have been able to identify around twenty groups of hackers, of which a dozen have connections to China's People's Liberation Army. Many others have links to Chinese universities. In total, the groups consist of several hundred people. The National Security Agency (NSA), which is responsible for digital espionage, is said to have been able to identify individuals behind the attacks in many cases. The report says that this has given US authorities more leverage in talks with Chinese officials and a greater range of options for striking back.
US government staff are reported to have warned China of the diplomatic consequences of carrying out cyber-espionage two weeks ago. China has always rejected allegations of cyber-espionage, which have been made repeatedly in recent years.