Former Congressman, Intelligence leader warns Huntsville of cyber attacks

Former Congressman, Intelligence leader warns Huntsville of cyber attacks

HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - Chinese hackers are trying to penetrate and steal from Rocket City defense companies every day.

That is the warning from former Michigan Congressman Mike Rogers.

Rogers, not to be confused with current Alabama Congressman Mike Rogers, served as the Chairman on the House Intelligence committee before stepping down from Congress last year.

"Is a target. It's a target by the Russians, the Chinese, the Iranians," said Rogers.

The former congressman did not hold back on his concern about Huntsville's secrets. He was the keynote speaker at the 80th annual Huntsville/Madison County Chamber of Commerce meeting on Thursday.

"They want the secrets of these companies and they want the secrets of these companies in Huntsville. They don't have to send a physical spy here to do it anymore. They're using cyber as an opportunity to do that," said Rogers.

How real is the threat?

According to Bloomberg, Chinese hackers used a QinetiQ administrator's password to gain access to military top secrets. That office sits in Huntsville's research park. And the threat isn't new.

According to another Bloomberg article, hackers accessed the network at the Marshall Space Flight Center and stole secret data on rocket engine designs. Rogers said he hopes his message resonated to the group, which was made of some of Huntsville brightest minds, so they could prevent a future
attack and stop our secrets from ending up in the hands of our enemies.

"Does it take a real significant event to have Americans understand the breadth of this problem?" said Rogers. "I hate to say it, but probably so."

The former congressman said Chinese hackers have stolen more than a trillion dollars in designs and copyrighted material.

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