The United States says it spends billions of dollars each year to counter what it describes as China’s cyber-war against the American companies.
Speaking to CBS television’s 60 Minute program late on Sunday, FBI Director James Comey accused China of using extremely aggressive methods to break into US systems to steal information that would benefit their industry.
He claimed that annual losses from cyber-attacks launched from China were “impossible to count”.
“There are two kinds of big companies in the United States,” he said. “There are those who’ve been hacked by the Chinese, and those who don’t know they’ve been hacked by the Chinese.”
He said China tops the list of countries seeking to steal secrets from US firms. He also said that almost every major company in the United States had been the target of China’s cyber-war.
Comey claimed that China was seeking to obtain “information that’s useful to them so they don’t have to invent”.
“They can copy or steal to learn about how a company might approach negotiations with a Chinese company all manner of things,” he claimed.
“They are extremely aggressive and widespread in their efforts to break into American systems to steal information that would benefit their industry,” Comey said of China’s hackers.
Back in May, five members of China’s military were indicted with hacking US companies for trade secrets.
China however has repeatedly been rejected the charges as groundless and unsubstantiated.