US Chamber of Commerce Computers Hacked by Chinese

Chinese hacker reportedly found their way into the computers of the US Chamber of Commerce last year and was able to access information about its operations and its 3 million members, according to a report published Wednesday by the Wall Street Journal. Citing anonymous sources, the paper revealed that the cyber attack on America’s most powerful business lobby involved at least 300 different Internet addresses and was uncovered and halted in May 2010. Chinese officials dismissed the report.

Though the identity of the hackers has not been discovered, one of the sources told the Journal that the attackers are believed to have ties to the Chinese government, and the infiltrations all originated in China, according to the report. There was very little information released about what data had been seen and what the hackers’ intentions might have been, but a Chamber of Commerce official noted that the operation had been very sophisticated and had targeted specific information.

The US Chamber of Commerce employs some 450 people and represents the interests of hundreds of businesses, including some of the largest corporations in the world. The Journal story noted that emails that may have been stolen included private information related to companies and individuals in contact with the Chamber, schedules, trip reports, trade policy documents and meeting notes. Cyber attacks are commonly launched from China on various American businesses and government agencies, and the Pentagon warned in an August report that Chinese hacking may one day be used as a means to launch an overt military attack.