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Chinese spies 'stole data' from US trade secretary

Original post made by Jane, Professorville, on May 30, 2008

Chinese officials are suspected of secretly copying the contents of a US government laptop computer during a visit by Carlos Gutierrez, the American trade secretary.
The Chinese cyberspies then allegedly tried to use the information to hack into US government computers.

The copying is believed to have occurred when a laptop was left unattended during Mr Gutierrez's trip to Beijing for trade talks last December. Web Link

There has been growing concern in the US about the extent of Chinese economic and industrial espionage, particularly involving computers.

Chinese working in America have with growing frequency been expelled from the US for suspected industrial spying.

In the past two years, the Pentagon, State Department and Commerce Department have all been hit by widespread computer intrusions blamed on China.

Comments (14)

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Jane2
a resident of Meadow Park
on May 30, 2008 at 2:39 pm

Serve him right for leaving his laptop unattended. Sometimes Americans, even diplomats, are soooo trusting.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by ng
a resident of Hoover School
on May 30, 2008 at 2:44 pm


It is generally believed that Chinese intelligence agencies operate differently from other espionage organizations by employing primarily academics or students who will be in their host country only a short time, rather than spending years cultivating a few high-level sources or double agents.

Much information about the Chinese intelligence services come from defectors, whom the PRC accuse of lying to promote an anti-PRC agenda.

One known exception to this rule is the case of Katrina Leung, who is accused of starting an affair with an FBI agent to gain sensitive documents from him.

U.S. believe the Chinese military have been developing cyber technologies in recent years in order to perform espionages on other nations.

Several cases of computer intrusions suspected of Chinese involvement have been found in various countries including Australia, France, Germany, United Kingdom and the United States.

It is believed that Chinese espionage is aimed at stealing commercial, technological, and military secrets, as well as gathering information on the Falun Gong.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by julie
a resident of Midtown
on May 30, 2008 at 3:29 pm

A Defense Department analyst and a former engineer for Boeing Co. were accused in separate spy cases with helping deliver military secrets to the Chinese government, the Justice Department said.

Additionally, two immigrants from China and Taiwan accused of working with the defense analyst were arrested after an FBI raid on a New Orleans home where one of them lived.

The two cases — based in Alexandria, Va., and Los Angeles — have no connection, and investigators said it was merely a coincidence that charges would be brought against both on the same day.

The arrests mark China's latest attempts to gain top secret information about U.S. military systems and sales, said Assistant Attorney General Kenneth Wainstein.

He described China as "particularly adept, and particularly determined and methodical in their espionage efforts."

"The threat is very simple," Wainstein said at a Justice Department news conference in Washington. "It's a threat to our national security and to our economic position in the world, a threat that is posed by the relentless efforts of foreign intelligence services to penetrate our security systems and steal our most sensitive military technology and information."


 +   Like this comment
Posted by sam
a resident of Midtown
on May 30, 2008 at 3:50 pm

Computer hackers in China, including those working on behalf of the

Chinese government and military, have penetrated deeply into the information systems of U.S. companies and government agencies, stolen proprietary information from American executives in advance of their business meetings in China,

and, in a few cases, gained access to electric power plants in the United States, possibly triggering two recent and widespread blackouts in Florida and the Northeast, according to U.S. government officials and computer-security experts.Web Link


 +   Like this comment
Posted by White America has problems
a resident of Crescent Park
on May 30, 2008 at 4:44 pm

America has no friends. Whites have become hostile to everyone non-white.

Arabs are terrorists. Chinese are spies. Russians are mafia. Hispanics are aliens.

Get a life.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Jane Hates China
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on May 30, 2008 at 4:52 pm

Notice how it's always Jane who posts all the anti-Chinese material on this blog?

Jane, don't ever leave your front door because the boogie-man, who happens to be Chinese, is right outside. Ha, ha. You are so paranoid schizophrenic.

I'm tired of your China hate material. Keep posting China hate stuff and you will keep making enemies. Look what happened to Sharon Stone.

You will never have a Chinese friend. Don't ever even try to travel to China. You must walk around Palo Alto suspicious of every single Asian around. What a sad existence you live!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Jesse
a resident of Ventura
on May 30, 2008 at 4:54 pm

"Whites have become hostile to everyone non-white."

No, no, no it's the other way around. They don't play fair neither they really try to win.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by White America has Problems
a resident of Crescent Park
on May 30, 2008 at 4:57 pm

Jesse,
Do you have friends who are Arab, Chinese, Russian, or Hispanic? Didn't think so because you're so prejudiced. Racism at home translates into enemies abroad.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 30, 2008 at 9:05 pm

If the Chinese Trade Envoy left a laptop unattended while on a trade mission to the U.S., you don't think the CIA would copy it's content. Get a life. This stuff happens all the time in both directions.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by concerned
a resident of Crescent Park
on May 30, 2008 at 9:26 pm

Rep. Tom Lantos (recently deceased, sadly) - who knew so much about the human experience and human rights - had it right when he called Yahoo's Jerry Yang on the carpet for contributing to human rights abuses in China through cooperating with the Chinese government. This is not espionage per se, but indicative of the way they operate over there. Many Americans, including businesspersons, are terribly naive.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by ng
a resident of Hoover School
on May 31, 2008 at 3:10 pm



Chinese spies should be aggressively hunted down and treated even more harshly than the Israeli spy Pollard
IE life in prison in solitary
Jonathan Jay Pollard (born August 7, 1954 in Galveston, Texas) is a convicted Israeli spy and a former United States Naval civilian intelligence analyst. Pollard waived the right to trial in return for restrictions on sentencing, pleaded guilty and was convicted on one count of spying for Israel, receiving a life sentence in 1986 with a recommendation against parole. Israel publicly denied that Pollard was an Israeli spy until 1998, when he was granted Israeli citizenship. He was incarcerated at the federal penitentiary in Marion, Illinois in solitary confinement for seven years, then transferred to Butner Federal Correctional Institution in North Carolina.

Some should get the death penalty like
Julius Rosenberg (May 12, 1918 – June 19, 1953) and Ethel Greenglass Rosenberg (September 28, 1915 – June 19, 1953) were American citizens who received international attention when they were executed having been found guilty of conspiracy to commit espionage in relation to passing information on the American atomic bomb to the Soviet Union.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by samuel
a resident of Stanford
on May 31, 2008 at 3:15 pm



The espionage activity is increasing
March 2000 - China has intensified its spying operations in the United States over the past decade, collecting military and economic secrets and seeking to exert influence over policy decisions in Washington, according to a report by two U.S. intelligence services.

October 2000 - The Pentagon is hiring 450 counterintelligence specialists to protect defense secrets after learning that China obtains classified U.S. missile technology, the Washington Post reports, quoting senior defense officials.

November 2000 - China dismisses allegations in a book by a Washington Times reporter about Chinese spying on U.S. nuclear secrets as "sheer fabrication" and accuses the author of still living in the Cold War era. The book, "The China Threat" by Bill Gertz, alleges Beijing had 37 spies ferreting out U.S. nuclear secrets in the mid-1990s and includes extensive excerpts from a U.S. intelligence report.

January 2002 - Loral Space & Communications Ltd., under investigation since 1997 for allegedly leaking sensitive missile technology to China, says it reaches a settlement with the U.S. government that could let it resume long-delayed satellite exports to China. Loral said it had agreed to pay a civil fine of $14 million to the State Department over seven years without admitting or denying the government's charges.

November 2007 - China hits back at a U.S. congressional panel report, calling its claims of trade manipulation and high-tech espionage by Beijing "insulting" and "misleading." The U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission's report said China presented an array of threats to Washington, including "currency manipulation," computer espionage, and murky military modernization plans.

February 2008 - A former Boeing engineer is arrested on charges of stealing trade secrets for China related to several aerospace programs, including the Space Shuttle, the U.S. Justice Department says.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Resident
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jun 1, 2008 at 3:21 am

On Sept 27th 2007, a federal grand jury in San Jose charged Lan Lee of Palo Alto and Yuefei Ge of San Jose of conspiring to commit economic espionage and stealing trade secrets from NetLogic Microsystems Inc.


Web Link


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Walter E. Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 2, 2008 at 7:46 am

I lost an SOI from my radio jeep in 1950 for two hours and they changed codes throughout FECOM. Baring immediate need, only a fool keeps sensitive information on a laptop. Someone is not doing her job.


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