Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, today issued the following statement on a report by computer security company Mandiant (described in today's New York Times) that outlines the concerted and comprehensive hacking of American targets by the Chinese military:
"This is a sobering public report on the lengths to which the Chinese military has gone to infiltrate and hack American companies and clearly demonstrates the need to pass cyber security legislation as soon as possible.
"Beyond untold millions of dollars in economic losses, the latest attacks the report attributes to "Unit 61398' does not focus on obtaining information "but obtaining the ability to manipulate American critical infrastructure: the power grids and other utilities.'
"Multiple American sources have raised the issue of cyber attacks with Chinese interlocutors--all to no avail. In fact, there has been complete denial among the Chinese that this is occurring. I have personally raised cyber attacks with Chinese officials as recently as last week. Again, complete denial.
"This report reinforces the need for a binding international agreement among nations to prohibit cyber crimes and attacks with a workable enforcement mechanism. There are already international agreements in place to govern criminal activity and war. Cyber attacks are both, but there is nothing currently in place to govern this emerging and increasingly dangerous national and economic security threat.
"In my view, the time has come for an international cyber agreement and for strong legislation that can improve information sharing and protect the critical infrastructure of this country. Absent that, the United States remains especially vulnerable to a potential catastrophic cyber attack."