The Trojan Dragon Comes to Congress

John Tkacik, Jr. /

In their efforts to gain confidential information about Congressional deliberations on China, Chinese intelligence agencies have stuck their fingers in a hornet’s nest that will leave big welts on Congressional attitudes toward Asia’s new superpower for years to come.

Yesterday, an audibly angry Congressman Frank Wolf (R-VA) introduced a resolution on the floor of the House of Representatives (H. Res. 1263) warning all members of the House of the threat of Chinese cyberpenetration of Congressional databases.

Two years ago, Chinese espionage officers hunted through the computer files of Congressman Frank Wolf (R-VA), an outspoken critic of Beijing’s domestic human rights behavior and its support of dictatorships and genocide overseas. At the time, Rep. Wolf’s staff was able to trace the penetrations, first to his human rights staffer, then to his chief of staff, his legislative director and his judiciary aide. Those databases contained casework files for Chinese dissidents and activists that the Congressman was helping. At the time, the FBI was able to trace the penetrations to internet protocol addresses in China, but apparently asked that the information be kept secret.

In the intervening months, however, the Congressman learned from the FBI and Congressional information systems managers that Chinese intelligence penetrations of Congressional computer databases was widespread, and that many of the cyber attacks had been made easier when members of Congress and staffers brought their BlackBerry devices and PDAs to China – once they hooked into the Chinese telecommunications networks, efficient Chinese cyberwarriors had been able to inject Trojan horse viruses directly into Washington, D.C. networks through the Blackberry or PDA automatic password interfaces. (more…)