Companies and government agencies were attacked by Iranian and Chinese hackers that security experts linked to the withdrawal of President Donald Trump from the nuclear agreement with Iran last year and its commercial conflicts with China, according to The New York Times.
A summary of an intelligence report consulted by the Times reveals that companies such as Boeing, General Electric and T-Mobile were among the recent targets of industrial espionage efforts in China, although all these companies refused to discuss these alleged threats.
The recent Iranian attacks on US banks, companies and government agencies have been more extensive than previously reported, as dozens of corporations and several US agencies have been targeted, according to seven people informed of the episodes that were not authorized to discuss them publicly, the newspaper reports.
The attacks, attributed to Iran by analysts at the National Security Agency and private security firm FireEye, prompted an emergency order from the Department of Homeland Security during the government's shutdown last month.
The Iranian attacks coincide with a new Chinese offensive aimed at stealing trade and military secrets from US military contractors and technology companies, according to nine intelligence officials, private security investigators and lawyers with information of the attacks, they discussed them on condition of anonymity, due to confidentiality agreements.
Chinese cyber-espionage cooled off four years ago after the previous president, Barack Obama, and Chinese President, Xi Jinping, reached a historic agreement to stop the theft of trade secrets.
But the 2015 agreement appears to have been canceled unofficially amid continuing trade tension between the United States and China, intelligence officials and private security researchers said, quoted by the Times.
"Cyberspace is one of the ways in which adversaries can attack us and retaliate in effective and unpleasant ways that are well below the threshold of an armed attack or the laws of war", said Joel Brenner, former leader of counterintelligence of the United States.