Leadership Council for Human Rights

~ Feet in the mud, head in the sky ~

Friday, June 13, 2008

Congressional computers breached by Chinese hackers, U.S. lawmakers say

The computers of two U.S. lawmakers have been hacked by perpetrators working from China, The Associated Press reported Wednesday.

Reps. Frank Wolf (R-VA) and Chris Smith (R-NJ), both vocal critics of China’s human rights record, have reported multiple office computers compromised. According to the article, the machines “contained information about political dissidents from around the world.”

Wolf said the first breach in his office occurred in 2006, while two of Smith’s computers were hacked during separate incidents in 2006 and 2007.

The article also notes that, according to Wolf, “following one of the attacks, a car with license plates belonging to Chinese officials went to the home of a dissident in Fairfax County, Va., outside Washington and photographed it.”

The computer of Wolf’s chief of staff was among the machines in the lawmaker’s office breached. “They knew which ones to get,” said Dan Scandling, who currently is on leave of absence from his job as Wolf’s chief of staff. “It was a very sophisticated operation. The FBI verified that it had been done.”

Wolf said he had long known about the attacks but was discouraged from disclosing them by government officials he refused to identify.

The article also reports that, during the period of the Wolf and Smith breaches, hackers from China compromised House Foreign Affairs Committee computers.

For the full article, click here.


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