TCTI: Too Crazy To Ignore
Dave Ross
AP: d989592f-482b-4eaf-9fa0-ad7051f3acd3
The Chinese government has denied involvement in the cyber-attacks tracked by Mandiant. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)

We hired them to build our computers and now they're hacking them

A report released in Washington has tracked cyber attacks on 141 companies, mostly American, and the source is not, as you might think, some cabal of alienated teenage keyboard jockeys.

"Our six years of research shows that these hackers are members of the People's Liberation Army's Unit at 63918," reports Grady Summers.

Summers is a vice president with Mendiant, the computer security company that tracked these attacks to a 12 story building in Shanghai's financial district.

The Chinese have vigorously denied it.

Sannon Van Sant translates, "China's foreign ministry spokesperson denied the charge and said China is a victim of cyber attacks from the U.S."

And they have a point. Our side is not unfamiliar with organized cyber attacks on other countries.

As "60 Minutes" reported in 2012, "The first attack using a computer virus called stuxnet was launched several years ago against an Iranian nuclear faciltiy almost certainly with some U.S. involvement."

So there's a little Karma at work here.

But not to worry. Mr. Summers tells France24 that thanks to our huge national debt, China can't afford to turn off our lights.

"In fact China is the (United States') biggest foreign investor so it wouldn't be to their advantage to cripple our infrastructure. The scary thing is - they have that access if they ever wanted to do it."

So, just be vigilant. Remember as you fill your iPhone with apps that control your sound system, your furnace, your garage door that one day, the Chinese military might change your play list, turn up the heat and trap your car. Who thought this would be how they bring us to our knees.

Dave Ross, KIRO Radio Morning News Anchor
Dave Ross hosts the Morning News on KIRO Radio weekdays from 5-9 a.m. Dave has won the national Edward R. Murrow Award for writing five times since he started at KIRO Radio in 1978.
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