WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The chairman of the House of Representatives intelligence committee on Tuesday accused China of widespread cyber economic espionage and said many U.S. firms were afraid to come forward for fear their computers would be the targets of even more attacks.
"China's economic espionage has reached an intolerable level and I believe that the United States and our allies in Europe and Asia have an obligation to confront Beijing and demand that they put a stop to this piracy," Republican Representative Mike Rogers said at a committee hearing on cybersecurity.
"Beijing is waging a massive trade war on us all, and we should band together to pressure them to stop," he said.
Internet giant Google partially pulled out of China last year after concerns of censorship and a hacking episode that it said originated from China.
Rogers said companies like Google that reported cyber attacks were "just the tip of the iceberg."
"There are more companies that have been hit that won't talk about it in the press, for fear of provoking further Chinese attacks," he said.
Behind closed doors, however, companies describe attacks that originate in China, he said.
While U.S. officials and firms point the finger at China for many cyber attacks, China says it is one of the world's biggest victims of hacking.
"Attributing this espionage isn't easy, but talk to any private sector cyber analyst, and they will tell you there is little doubt that this is a massive campaign being conducted by the Chinese government," Rogers said.
(Reporting by Tabassum Zakaria and Susan Cornwell; Editing by Xavier Briand)