China hijacked US government Internet traffic

November 17, 2010

JJ Sutherland

For almost 20 minutes this spring internet traffic from sensitive US agencies was re-routed to go through Chinese servers. In total about 15 percent of the entire world's traffic went through those servers, but it does seem targeted at US government and military sites, according to a new report released today by the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission.

This incident affected traffic to and from U.S. government (‘‘.gov’’) and military (‘‘.mil’’) sites, including those for the Senate, the army, the navy, the marine corps, the air force, the office of secretary of Defense, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the Department of Commerce, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and many others. Certain commercial websites were also affected, such as those for Dell, Yahoo!, Microsoft, and IBM.116

The commission comfortingly goes on to say that it has no idea "what, if anything, Chinese telecommunications firms did to the hijacked data."

Bloomberg reached Wang Baodong, a spokesman for the Chinese Embassy.

“Chinese laws strictly forbid hacking or any other illegal activities that’ll compromise the legitimate interests of China or any other countries,” he said in an e-mail.

The report reaches “unacceptable” conclusions, Wang said in an interview. “The report was based on unfounded, groundless information,” Wang said.

Is it just me, or is this kinda worrying? Copyright 2010 National Public Radio.