19 January 2012

Suspicion grows China was behind hack of U.S. commission

Suspicion is growing that operatives in China, rather than India, were behind the hacking of emails of an official U.S. commission that monitors relations between the United States and China, U.S. officials said.

News of the hacking of the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission surfaced earlier this month when an amateur "hacktivist" group purporting to operate in India published what it said was a memo from an Indian Military Intelligence unit to which extracts from commission emails were attached.

But U.S. officials who spoke to Reuters on condition of anonymity said the roundabout way the commission's emails were obtained strongly suggests the intrusion originated in China, possibly by amateurs, and not from India's spy service.

A large cache of raw email data from the security breach, reviewed by Reuters, indicates that the principal target of the intruders was not the commission, but instead a Washington-based non-governmental pro-trade group called the National Foreign Trade Council (NFTC). The trade council is headed by William Reinsch, a former top U.S. Commerce Department official who until recently served as the U.S.-China Commission's chairman.......

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