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A report to US Congress says cyber espionage from China and Russia is happening on a massive scale. The report comes in response to growing complaints from the business community that their networks are coming under regular attack, with highly valuable information and technology being stolen.
American companies and cyber security specialists have reported an "onslaught of computer network intrusions" from China according to a new report to the United States Congress.
The report by the US government agency the Office of the National Counterintelligence Executive, names China and Russia as stealing technology and financial information from US companies to fast track their own economic development.
It's a clean break from previous reports that have shied away from naming specific perpetrators.
The report says cyber espionage has overtaken other more traditional forms of espionage because it allows massive amounts of data to be stolen with minimal risk of discovery.
Examples named in the report include the stealing of information to give Chinese companies an advantage during business negotiations.
The problem might not be easy to solve. Most company documents are held somewhere in soft copy form, while the proliferation of portable computing devices and cloud computing opens up new possibilities for hackers.
China dismissed the report as "irresponsible." Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hong Lei said Chinese authorities wanted to work with the international community to maintain online security.
But freedom of information campaigner and Internet expert Zhang Xinyu says the Chinese regime both encourages and funds technical training for hackers.