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DOJ’s John Demers on Cyber Hack Linked to Russia, Threats Posed by China

2 mins read
John Demers
John Demers Asst Attorney General DOJ

John Demers, assistant attorney general for national security at the Department of Justice (DOJ), said the federal government is still in the process of analyzing the damage brought by a massive cyber breach linked to Russia, NPR reported Thursday. Demers shared his observations on threat actors behind the recent hack.

"A lot still to be analyzed in terms of both the scope and depth of this hack," Demers told NPR in an interview. "But as you know, there's a lot of confidential and sensitive information that is transmitted and stored on unclassified systems, a lot of information that would be of interest to a foreign state who was trying to learn about our intentions and our planning." 

"This looks more like what a nation state would traditionally try to do through human means, through spies, but trying to do it through technical means and cyber intrusions," Demers added. 

DOJ launched a program called China Initiative in an attempt to counter the Asian country’s efforts to steal U.S. government secrets and intellectual property. Demers has led the initiative since its inception.

"We do see some other countries engaging episodically in economic espionage, but none of them on the scale and sophistication and persistence of the Chinese government," he said. “It really is an effort to develop the Chinese economy and Chinese companies under this rubric of rob, replicate and replace.”

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