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Rep. Forbes: Cyber attacks represent real threat

The U.S. must mount a better defense against cyber attacks from foreign nations like China,said Rep. J. Randy Forbes, R-Chesapeake, who has called for congressional hearings on the matter.

Forbes on Monday sent a letter to Chairman Ike Skelton of the House Armed Services Committee requesting the panel to investigate the impact of cyber attacks from abroad.

"The United States is more dependent on our computer systems than any other country -- from military readiness to transportation and energy grids to banking systems to national security operations to civilian infrastructure," said Forbes. "And yet, we are being infiltrated every single day. The alarming truth is this: When it comes to cybersecurity, the United States is losing."

In 2007, the Secretary of Defense office had to shut down its computer information systems for more than a week to defend against cyber attacks that were found to be coming from China. The amount of lost information was comparable to the entire contents of the LIbrary of Congress, according to U.S. intelligence officials in a report by National Public Radio.

Forbes, a member of the House Armed Services Committee, chairms the Congressional China Caucus.

Read the letter to Rep. Skelton

Forbes letter

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