Chinese cyber attackers have hacked most D.C. institutions, experts say #thecircuit

February 21, 2013

Most D.C. institutions hacked by Chinese cyber-spies: Experts say that a majority of Washington, D.C. institutions have been targeted and infiltrated by cyber-attackers based in China, according to a report from The Washington Post.

Attacks focused on think tanks, law firms, news organizations and federal agencies, the report said, give hackers a detailed glimpse of how Washington works — if they are sophisticated enough to sift through the data to make meaningful connections.

“The dark secret is there is no such thing as a secure unclassified network,” said James A. Lewis, a cybersecurity expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, in an interview with The Post.

U.S. effort to stem IP theft: The United States is launching an effort to stem intellectual property theft, The Washington Post reported , saying that it will place countries that launch efforts to break into the systems of U.S. companies on a watch list. Officials told The Post that they will also urge other countries targeted in these attacks to pressure offending states to stop those efforts.

The strategy gained mixed reviews, the report said. While many applauded the White House’s open focus on the problem of IP theft, others said the strategy contained few new initiatives.

NTIA privacy multistakeholder meeting: The National Technology Information Administration will meet again with mobile app developers Thursday to continue discussions about the mobile application privacy transparency.

Earlier this month, the Federal Trade Commission released a report outlining its approach to mobile application privacy disclosures — a report it said should be seen as separate but complementary to the ongoing NTIA discussions. The California attorney general’s office has also released suggestions for app developers in that state. Both include suggestions on how to make privacy policies on small screens more accessible and digestible to the average user.

The meeting starts at 1 p.m. and will be streamed online.

FCC spectrum proposal: The Federal Communications Commission said Wednesday that its commissioners voted unanimously in favor of a proposal to free up airwaves in the 5 GHz band of spectrum and promote the growth of fast, new WiFi technology. The proposed rules follow a January announcement by FCC chairman Julius Genachowski at the Consumer Electronics Show, in which he said that allowing use of this band could free up WiFi congestion in areas with significant Web traffic.

Electronics industry advocacy groups were quick to lend their support for the measure, though critics argued that the government should move slowly to suss out potential problems

Hayley Tsukayama covers consumer technology for The Washington Post.
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