Larry Woetzel is chairman of the United States-China Economic and Security Review Commission but formally worked as a CIA agent. He revealed how the CIA was on the verge of purchasing 16,000 computers from a Chinese company, that may have been infected with a virus. Mr Woetzel revealed other US government departments were attacked by computers purchased from the same company.
He detailed during Amazon Prime’s “China vs USA: Empires at War” documentary how in March 2006 his department almost purchased 16,000 computers from Lenovo.
The Chinese corporation had just bought out American company IBM and were ready to supply vital network technology to circulate defence data.
Some of these computers were meant for networks that circulate secret defence data
Mr Woetzel detailed: “I have been an intelligence officer for more than 25 years and worked in counterintelligence.
“I knew it was technically possible to alter and embed software and hardware into a computer that could allow access to our whole network.
“The entire bureau of export was attacked and shut down by a devastating attack from hackers and the state department lost [access to] computers because of hackers from China.
“I knew these things could happen and they are still happening.
“I can only say in many cases we know they are coming and where from, but I can’t go into more details.”
Relations between China and the US have been tense over the last decade, as both countries attempt to become the global superpower.
Xi Jinping and Donald Trump regularly flex their military and economic muscles in a show of force to each other.
However, it appears the war online is fast becoming just as important as land, sea and air conflicts.