China cyber attacks loom as no.1 issue: Feinstein

Robert Clark
07 Jun 2010

The rising tide of internet attacks from China threatens to become the biggest security issue between the US and China, a key senator has said.

In an interview with WSJ in Shanghai, Sen Dianne Feinstein, chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, called on China to back an international cyber treaty.

“I’m talking about major cyberattacks,” she said. Cybeintrusion was a major problem in the world today and China was one of “several big actors.”

“Big banks have been robbed. The [US] Defense computer system has been invaded literally tens of thousands of times. Our Senate network, my offices have been invaded.”

She said she had raised the issue in discussions with current and former leaders, which included with ex-president Jiang Zemin and former premier Zhu Rongji.

“I believe that a cyber treaty and agreement whereby the rules of the road and the laws with respect to cyberintrusions really need to be a matter of international cooperation and agreement.

“This is very worrisome. As chairman of the Intelligence Committee, I can tell you this is probably the No. 1 concern that looms in the future as serious potential harm. “

Major nations such as China, Russia, the US, Israel and other states needed to forge an international agreement to prevent cyber-attacks from “mushroom[ing] into somebody really doing something stupid.”

Feinstein said she did not raise Google’s recent exit from China.

Google announced in January it planned to close its China-based search business after heavy attacks on its servers and on personal accounts of gmail customers.

India, Australia and western European states have complained about cyberattacks also apparently emanating from China.

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