China Hackers Stealing U.S. Secrets, Jobs

Stolen corporate secrets amount to thousands of jobs and billions of dollars.
2:54 | 12/21/11

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Transcript for China Hackers Stealing U.S. Secrets, Jobs
-- a war going on every day that you may not know about and today we learned a lot more about it. China striking at the heart of our economy iconic American companies like Ford and Google the Pentagon to. -- from China have also penetrated the computers of America's largest business organization. One -- millions of members and issuing corporate secrets worth thousands of jobs and billions of dollars. ABC's Pierre Thomas starts us off with more on this invisible but costly war. As employees that the US chamber of commerce work. -- -- thousands of miles away. When looking over their shoulders for more than a year hackers suspected of ties to the Chinese Government. Had access to everything in chamber computers gaining critical information about major US companies and their strategy for selling product. We've never seen a country dedicate its resources its espionage resources to steal economic. Information and then use it against us against our economy. At one point the penetration was so complete a chain with thermostat was communicating with a computer in China. Another time chamber employees were surprised to see one other -- Training and Chinese congressional leaders say China is engaged in economic -- On a scale never seen before sources tell ABC news at any given moment there are hundreds of cyber attacks targeting US companies and government agencies in late 2009 authorities say China based hackers broke -- computers. Look at the email accounts of human rights activists. In the same operates is -- -- nine other companies were hit including Dow Chemical Yahoo! and Morgan Stanley. It's really recent intolerable level and it is getting exponentially. Worse two years ago an operative at Ford Motor Co. Downloaded thousands of -- on hybrid engine design. And gave -- to the people's republic. And design secrets for this US stealth fighter -- were allegedly the target of a cyber attack traced to China take a look at China's version of the plane. Very similar. This may be the greatest transfer of wealth through theft and piracy. In the history of the world and we are on the losing. And how much wealth -- sources say the US has -- 250 billion dollars in losses to economic espionage annually. This is a national. Long term strategic threat the United States of America. And this is an issue that a -- here is not an option. Tonight officials at the Chinese embassy behind me say the charges are you responsible. And lacking proof George. But it appears you know and I -- -- -- the same places I've talked to American officials say these attacks never stop so what have you learned about what we're doing about it. Huge issue Georgian officials tell me tonight that the US government is considered considering legislation which would allow the government to share what private industry. Classified security techniques to block --

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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