The U.S. government has acknowledged a new study by a computer-security firm that says cybercriminals have spent at least the past five years infiltrating and attempting to steal data from more than 70 government entities, nonprofit groups, and corporations in 14 countries.
U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said U.S. officials planned to evaluate the findings of the study and take appropriate action.
The California-based security company McAfee, which uncovered the intrusions, said it believed there was one "state actor" behind the attacks, but has declined to name the country.
Some security experts said evidence pointed to China.
The Chinese government has made no comment.
McAfee said entities targeted by the attacks include the governments of the United States, Taiwan, India, South Korea, Vietnam, and Canada; the Association of Southeast Asian Nations; the International Olympic Committee; and U.S. defense contractors and high-tech companies.
It said hackers broke into the the computer system of the United Nations secretariat in Geneva and looked at reportedly secret information.
The report does not give details about what data may have been stolen from the entities.
compiled from agency reports