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Feds: Foreign Attackers 'Knocking on Our Door Every Day'

LAS VEGAS Black Hat 2008 – If you're wondering whether the cyber battles being waged in Eastern Europe are happening in the U.S. as well, you can stop wondering: They are.

At the annual "Meet the Feds" session here at the Black Hat conference, top federal officials said the threat of cyber attack against the U.S. is very real -- and, in fact, is already happening.

"There are countries that have [cyber] capabilities equivalent to ours, and in some cases, that exceed ours," said James Finch, assistant director of the FBI's cybercrime division. "There are countries that are knocking on our door every day -- and they are a threat to our national security."

Finch declined to name any specific countries or threats. But when asked about recent public cyber attacks that reportedly emanated from China and Russia, he said, "We're not worried so much about the noisy attacks as we are about the quiet ones."

There have been numerous reports of attacks by Chinese hackers on other governments, including a break-in of Congressional computers that was reported in June. Russian attackers have been credited with attacks on several former Soviet republics expressing anti-Russian sentiments, including Estonia, Lithuania, and Georgia. (See President of Georgia's Site Under Attack.)

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