Two Lawmakers Allege China Hacked Their Computers

By Matthew Harwood

Two United States representatives allege that Chinese hackers have compromised their computer networks that contained information on political dissidents from around the globe, reports the Associated Press.

Virginia Rep. Frank Wolf says four of his computers were hacked. New Jersey Rep. Chris Smith says two of his computers were compromised in December 2006 and March 2007.

The two lawmakers are longtime critics of China's record on human rights.

In an interview Wednesday, Wolf said the hacking of computers in his Capitol Hill office began in August 2006. He says a computer at a House committee office also was hacked, and he suggested others in the House and possibly the Senate could be involved.

Wolf said the hackers "got everything,"  including his files on international political dissidents. In response, he has called for hearings in both chambers of Congress to investigate the matter.

Wolf, according to the AP, will address the House this afternoon. In a draft of those prepared remarks, Wolf wrote he is "'deeply concerned that Congress is not adequately aware of or protected' from cyber attacks." To shore those defenses up, Wolf will introduce a resolution to protect House computers and information systems from outside threats.

Although he has known of these hack attacks for awhile, Wolf said people in the government, whom he would not identify, told him not to go public with the information.

Smith and Wolf's accusations of Chinese cyber-espionage aren't the only ones circulating through Washington, D.C., at the moment. The AP also reports that U.S. investigators are looking into whether Chinese officials copied the contents of Commerce Secretary Carlos M. Gutierrez's laptop computer during a visit to China and then subsequently used the information to hack into Commerce Department computers.

The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs declined to give an immediate comment regarding the investigation to the AP when contacted by the news agency.




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