U.S. report says China ‘hijacked’ 15 percent of global Internet traffic during brief period in AprilNovember 18th, 2010 - 1:28 am ICT by BNO News
BEIJING, CHINA (BNO NEWS) — U.S. web traffic was ‘hijacked’ or rerouted by Chinese telecommunication services earlier this year and included highly sensitive traffic involving U.S. military and government networks, the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission (USCC) said on Wednesday.
According to the report, China Telecom incorrectly routed web traffic for approximately 18 minutes on April 8. This included sensitive traffic involving the U.S. Senate, the U.S. Office of the Secretary of Defense, the U.S. Army, U.S. Navy, NASA, and the U.S. Commerce Department.
“For a brief period in April, Chinese Internet service providers ‘hijacked,’ or inappropriately gained access to U.S. Internet traffic,” said USCC Chairman Dan Slane during a press conference.
Around 15 percent of worldwide Internet network routes were affected during the incident and also included commercial websites such as Dell, Yahoo!, Microsoft, and IBM.
“Although the Commission has no way to determine what, if anything, Chinese telecommunications firms did to the hijacked data, incidents of this nature could have a number of serious implications,” the report said. “This level of access could enable surveillance of specific users or sites,” it added.
However, the USCC said it was unclear whether the ‘hijacking’ was intentional. The 316-page report explained that evidence related to the incident “does not clearly indicate whether it was perpetrated intentionally and, if so, to what ends.”
“However, computer security researchers have noted that the capability could enable severe malicious activities,” the report said.
Nonetheless, the USCC recommended that the Obama administration launches a formal investigation regarding the “volume and seriousness of exploitations and attacks.”
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Tags: beijing china, bno, china telecom, chinese internet, chinese telecommunications, formal investigation, global internet traffic, government networks, internet service providers, malicious activities, office of the secretary of defense, s commerce, security researchers, security review, slane, telecommunication services, u s army, u s navy, u s senate, uscc