These cyberattacks steal billion of dollars worth of intellectual property (IP) and data, according to US cybersecurity analysts consulted by the Guardian newspaper. The attacks have distinct signatures that enable US officials to tie them back to certain Chinese hacking groups.
The increasing frequency and widening scope of attacks, and the loss of valuable proprietary IP, have prompted US companies to call for greater action by the US government to stop the attacks “by any means possible”, according to the article.
"Industry is already feeling that they are at war," James Cartwright, a retired Marine general and former vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told the newspaper.
"Right now we have the worst of worlds," said Cartwright. "If you want to attack me you can do it all you want, because I can't do anything about it. It's risk free, and you're willing to take almost any risk to come after me."
The government "needs to do more to increase the risk [to the hackers]", Jon Ramsey, head of the counter threat unit at the Atlanta-based Dell SecureWorks, told the newspaper. "In the private sector we're always on defense. We can't do something about it, but someone has to. There is no deterrent not to attack the US."
As recently reported by Infosecurity, the Chinese government has consitently denied responsibility for cyberattacks attributed to it, stressing that China is the victim of hundreds of thousands of cyberattacks each year.