NSA chief says Chinese government encourages cybertheft | us news

NSA chief says Chinese government encourages cybertheft

25 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

NSA Chief Not Sure a Cyber-Arms Treaty Would Be Workable.

The head of the National Security Agency told a Senate panel Thursday that Chinese officials are behind the theft of U.S. commercial data and regularly access private digital communications and data that flow through China.Achieving a multinational arms-control treaty governing the use of cyber-weapons may be impossible because groups unaffiliated with governments wouldn’t honor it, Admiral Michael Rogers, the director of U.S.

Rogers, America’s top cybersecurity official, spoke hours before President Obama prepared to sit down at a working dinner with Chinese President Xi Jinping, who arrived in Washington Thursday afternoon for a state visit. Commenting at a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on legislation passed in July in China that requires all businesses that do business in China have systems that are secure and controllable by Chinese authorities, Admiral Mike Rogers said the Chinese have a fundamentally different view from the U.S. “The current approach where we are so fundamentally apart, we’ve been very upfront, this is just not acceptable. Terrorist groups such as Islamic State aren’t interested in stability and want to “tear the status quo down,” Rogers told the Senate intelligence panel during a hearing on Thursday. But he acknowledged to Arkansas Republican Tom Cotton that the communications of senior U.S. officials are highly sought after by foreign intelligence agencies. During the dinner, and in more formal talks at the White House on Friday, aides said Obama will press U.S. concerns about Chinese-backed intrusions of U.S. computer networks.

We can’t sustain a long-term relationship, the kind of relationship we want if this is the approach, that the privacy of individuals, the access to intellectual property is just viewed as something the state can do at the time and place of its choosing. The U.S. may, however, be able to work directly with countries like China and Russia to develop acceptable practices when it comes to Internet activity, Rogers said. “I don’t know if an arms control agreement is the right answer,” Rogers said. “I think we can get to the idea of norms.” Rogers’ comments come on the eve of a historic summit by President Barack Obama and his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping.

Rogers says that if he learned that a top foreign official was emailing over a private server, he would consider that an intelligence-gathering opportunity. Wyden: “As a general matter, is it correct that anytime there are copies of an encryption key — and they exist in multiple places — that also creates more opportunities for malicious actors or foreign hackers to get access to the keys? It goes totally against our framework,” he said Rogers’ warning comes in the wake of new revelations that show the number of people whose fingerprints were stolen in a historic breach of federal files has skyrocketed — from just over 1 million to an estimated 5.6 million, according to the federal agency that was hacked. The countries are trying to agree to a code of conduct for cybersecurity operations, such as prohibiting attacks vital computer networks during peacetime. Clinton has said she is sorry she used a private email server as her exclusive email account for government business when she was secretary of state, but the issue has continued to shadow her presidential campaign.

The information was part of an array of sensitive files, including Social Security numbers, swiped in a hack estimated to have affected 21.5 million people total — including people who applied for security clearances and their families. On Wednesday, the Office of Personnel Management said hackers also stole 5.6 million fingerprint records collected as part of background checks for sensitive government jobs, including intelligence, law enforcement, military service and the judiciary.

Rogers said, when asked where the US is in terms of preparedness against a cyberattack on a scale of 1-10: “On average right now, depending on the sector we’re probably at a 5 or a 6. The U.S. government says it does not share foreign intelligence with American companies. “They clearly don’t have the same lines in the sand, if you will, with that regard,” Rogers said. “I watch some of my counterparts there do things I could never do.” China’s security agencies believe they have a right to collect and analyze all conversations and information that move across China’s borders, Rogers said. Leaks by rogue NSA contractor Edward Snowden since 2013 revealed extensive NSA systems to secretly collect data from most emails and phone calls in America. The widely held suspicion is that the Clinton server was compromised after a series of “problems” documented in the last round of released emails, including being slow or offline.Clinton claimed for the first time this week that her Denver based IT company had assured her there was no compromise of data.

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