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Friday, February 8, 2008       Free Headline Alerts

China has penetrated U.S. databases: 'They are already in and we have to find them'

Chinese computer attackers have conducted an aggressive, non-stop campaign to penetrate key government and industry databases in the United States, according to a computer security specialist.

Disturbingly, the Chinese have succeeded, said Alan Paller, director of the SANS Institute, a computer security center. “They are already in and we have to find them.”

The hackers, he noted, are likely working for the People’s Liberation Army.

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Paller told that evidence makes clear the Chinese government is behind the attacks, which he described as non-stop and well-financed efforts to breach key national security and industry databases.

The evidence includes keystroke logs of the attacks, which have been devoid of errors usually found in amateur hack attacks, the use of "spear phishing" to gain entry into computer networks and the massively repetitive nature of the assaults.

“This is not amateur hacking. They are going back to the same places 100 times a day, every day. This kind of an effort requires a massive amount of money and resources,” Paller said.

The U.S. government must monitor all Internet traffic to critical government and private-sector networks "to find the enemy within," he said.

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