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NSA on Chinese Hackers: New Computers 'Can Become Infected Within Minutes of Being Plugged In'

8:17 AM, Jul 16, 2014 • By JERYL BIER
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The threat to the U.S. government and U.S. businesses from foreign hackers, especially from China, has been increasingly in the news in recent months. In a little noticed WTOP interview last week, recently installed National Counterintelligence Executive William Evanina expressed the threat in terms that almost seem hyperbolic:

 "The average computer, fresh out of its packaging, can become infected within minutes of being plugged in. It can take longer to download software that protects a computer system than for a hacker to gain entry," the National Security Agency says. 

Millions of times a day, hackers linked to the Chinese and Russian governments and cyber criminals infiltrate U.S. government and business networks. And the new National Counterintelligence Executive (NCIX) says it's getting worse with each passing day.

"With the exponential increase in cyber capabilities, electronics and tradecraft, they're getting faster and smarter about how they seek to steal our information, and we need to be faster and smarter about how we defend it," William Evanina said in an exclusive interview... 

Chinese hackers, he said, "are more active than they've ever been and they're after whatever they can get." Recent evidence shows they've targeted everything from blueprints for jet fighters to formulas for making windows. 

"They want to be an economic world power, so anything that has to do with their economy, they will steal -- from factory information, to bio-products, to manufacturing products to thermal engineering. Recently there was a case from Pittsburgh Corning Glass where they tried to steal (information on) thermal insulation in the windows," said Evanina. 

    The Office of the Director of National Intelligence posted a link to the article on its website as well. 

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