- The Washington Times - Friday, July 31, 2015

The Chinese government has successfully stolen data from the computer systems of more than 600 American targets during the course of the Obama administration, a classified intelligence document indicates, including private sector and military entities.

A National Security Agency document marked as “secret” and obtained by NBC News suggests that the US intelligence community has attributed Beijing with hundreds of attacks against government and corporate targets dating back to 2009.

The document, a map labeled “US Victims of Chinese Cyber Espionage,” shows strikes waged not just up and down the east and west coasts, but in seemingly all US states and against targets across all sectors.

At least 50 red dots appear on the map in California to indicate successful cyber attacks in which spies assumed by the NSA to be Chinese had infiltrated targets and exfiltrated information. Industrial hubs and maritime cities have suffered the most, the map suggests, with attacks nonetheless occurring in all of the continental United States.

According to NBC, an intelligence source said on condition of anonymity that the map was part of a briefing prepared in February 2014 by the NSA Threat Operations Center. At that briefing, the source said, intelligence officials stressed that Chinese cyber spies have expressed an interest as of late in targeting Google, Lockheed Martin and unnamed air traffic control systems. The NSA did not immediately respond to requests from the network for comments on the classified document.

In 2013, a US Department of Defense document concluded that “numerous computer systems around the world, including those owned by the US government, continued to be targeted for intrusions, some of which appear to be attributable directly to the Chinese government and military.” That same year, former US government contractor Edward Snowden told the Chinese media that the NSA routinely targets companies in the Far East, specifically mobile phone companies, for intelligence gathering purposes. 

Last year, the Justice Department indicted five members of the Chinese military on charges related to hacking US targets. 

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