The Chinese government denies any involvement with any of this. It is believed that U.S. government or military hackers make similar attacks on Chinese targets. That is not discussed much at all. Chinese computer networks are more vulnerable than U.S. ones, because of less well trained Internet staff, and less protective software and hardware. To deal with this, many Chinese government systems are not connected to the Internet at all. Their users must turn to another PC, that does have Internet access, but is not connected to the key government systems. Some U.S. government networks operate the same way, but most government networks, containing secret data, are accessible via the Internet. The last major target of Chinese hackers was the U.S. State Department, last July.
For the second time in four months, Chinese hackers have been caught trying to burrow their way into U.S. government networks. The latest penetration involved the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS), a section of the Commerce Department that has been fighting Chinese efforts to illegally obtain U.S. military technology and American trade secrets in general. Some BIS computers were so thoroughly infiltrated, that their hard drives had to be wiped clean and reloaded as if they were new machines. More worrisome is that this penetration effort, which went on for several days, may have gotten into places where its presence could not be detected. Or at least not detected yet. Naturally, there was no announcement of details that could give the hackers information on how they were detected, traced or otherwise deceived.