Press "Enter" to skip to content

Top House Republicans Urge Administration to Hold CCP Hackers Accountable

Media Contact 202-225-5021

Washington, D.C.- Today, Congressmen Michael McCaul (R-TX), Greg Walden (R-OR), and Patrick McHenry (R-NC), Republican Leaders on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, House Energy and Commerce Committee, and House Financial Services Committee sent a letter to President Trump, urging the Administration to impose consequences on China-linked hackers who have targeted U.S. institutions, including through sanctions. 

In the letter, the lawmakers wrote: “We applaud your administration’s work to ramp up the investigation and prosecution of these cyber criminals. To send a clear message to the PRC, however, we also encourage you to consider utilizing your ability under existing authorities to sanction PRC-linked hackers, as your administration has repeatedly against other foreign persons.  To date, Treasury has not sufficiently imposed such sanctions on PRC actors for cyber-attacks on Americans or those entities in the PRC that benefit from cyber-enabled theft of intellectual property, but we believe the time may be ripe for considering such action. These actions must have consequences. If we do not utilize our sanctions strategically in response to bad acts, our sanctions regime loses its deterrent effect, and we will only see these cyber-attacks from the PRC further escalate.”

Full text of the letter can be found here or below. 

Dear Mr. President:

We write with significant concerns regarding the People’s Republic of China’s (PRC) continued malicious cyber activity targeting the United States. For many years, the PRC has perpetrated cyber-attacks on Americans, our financial institutions, and even the U.S. government itself. The response to this orchestrated malicious activity was always muted, however, with hopes that leniency toward PRC aggression would foster greater economic cooperation and deeper diplomatic ties. This strategy presupposed that positive engagement would drive the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) towards convergence with our economic and political systems. Unfortunately, it has had the opposite effect. By decades of not taking principled stands or enforcing violations of commitments, the United States has allowed the CCP to proceed down another path, which threatens U.S. and global security.

As the world responds to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis exacerbated by the CCP cover up, the PRC’s cyber-attacks have only grown more aggressive. The Department of Homeland Security and the FBI just last month publicly accused PRC-linked hackers of targeting U.S. institutions and “attempting to identify and illicitly obtain valuable intellectual property (IP) and public health data related to vaccines, treatments, and testing from networks and personnel affiliated with COVID-19-related research.” Such activity puts the very lives of our citizens at risk.

We applaud your administration’s work to ramp up the investigation and prosecution of these cyber criminals. To send a clear message to the PRC, however, we also encourage you to consider utilizing your ability under existing authorities to sanction PRC-linked hackers, as your administration has repeatedly against other foreign persons.  To date, Treasury has not sufficiently imposed such sanctions on PRC actors for cyber-attacks on Americans or those entities in the PRC that benefit from cyber-enabled theft of intellectual property, but we believe the time may be ripe for considering such action. These actions must have consequences. If we do not utilize our sanctions strategically in response to bad acts, our sanctions regime loses its deterrent effect, and we will only see these cyber-attacks from the PRC further escalate.

To that end, we request a classified briefing from the Departments of Treasury and State, as well as any other agency you deem appropriate, to apprise us of the scope, number, and success rate of these attacks, as well as any plans the Treasury Department has moving forward to target the PRC-linked hackers responsible.   

Thank you again for the numerous efforts you have taken thus far to address the strategic threat from the CCP, and we look forward to your reply.

Sincerely,

Michael T. McCaul

Greg Walden

Patrick McHenry 

###

Go to Source
Author: Caroline Campbell

%d bloggers like this: