China Could Have a Stolen ‘Dossier’ on Every American Adult
China has stolen enough sensitive information from the United States that it could now compile a “dossier” on every American adult, a team of former national security advisers warned during an August 4 Senate Intelligence Committee hearing.
“Assembling dossiers on people has always been a feature of Leninist regimes,” Matthew Pottinger, former deputy national adviser for the Trump administration, said. “But Beijing’s penetration of digital networks worldwide has taken this to a new level.”
Pottinger continued: “Beijing’s stolen sensitive data is sufficient to build a dossier on every single American adult and on many of our children too, who are fair game under Beijing’s rules of political warfare.”
He warned that the Chinese Communist Party (ccp) “now compiles dossiers on millions of foreign citizens around the world.” With the information it gathers, it can “influence, target, intimidate, reward, blackmail, flatter, humiliate, and ultimately—divide and conquer.”
William Evanina, director of the National Counterintelligence and Security Center under President Donald Trump, also spoke at the hearing. He said: “[T]he existential threat our nation faces from the Communist Party of China is the most complex, pernicious, strategic and aggressive our nation has ever faced.”
Evanina said the best estimates indicate that “80 percent of American adults have had all of their personal data stolen by the ccp, and the other 20 percent most of their personal data.”
Evanina decried the fact that “over the past decade, we have seen ccp cyber and insider threat breaches and criminality to such a level I fear we are becoming numb when it is identified.”
Some notable Chinese hacks from recent years include:
- February 2015: Anthem Inc., an American health insurance company, disclosed that hackers linked to China had stolen sensitive personal data on up to 80 million individuals.
- June 2015: The United States Office of Personnel Management announced that 21.5 million records, belonging to 4 million Americans, had been stolen in a major cyberattack originating in China. The records included sensitive information about people who had undergone background checks in order to be considered for U.S. government jobs. Then Federal Bureau of Investigation Director James Comey called it “a very big deal from a national security perspective and from a counterintelligence perspective,” adding that the hackers stole “a treasure trove of information about everybody who has worked for, tried to work for, or works for the United States government.”
- Fall 2015: Consumer credit reporting company Equifax was hacked by Chinese spies. The Wall Street Journal wrote: “[S]ecurity officials feared that former employees had removed thousands of pages of proprietary information before leaving and heading to jobs in China. Materials included code for planned new products, human-resources files and manuals.”
- August 2018: Reuters reported that Chinese spies were using falsified LinkedIn accounts to target Americans working for the U.S. government and high-value companies. “Chinese intelligence uses bribery or phony business propositions in its recruitment efforts,” Reuters wrote. “Academics and scientists, for example, are offered payment for scholarly or professional papers and, in some cases, are later asked or pressured to pass on U.S. government or commercial secrets.”
- November 2018: Marriott announced that data from as many as 500 million customers had been stolen, including passport numbers and credit card information. Many of those whose information was stolen are affluent Americans who frequently travel for business. The New York Times spoke to U.S. officials briefed on the investigation, and wrote: “The hackers, they said, are suspected of working on behalf of the Ministry of State Security, the country’s Communist-controlled civilian spy agency.”
- December 2018: The Wall Street Journal reported that Chinese hackers had stolen highly sensitive classified information from U.S. Navy contractors. “A series of incidents in the past 18 months has pointed out the service’s weaknesses, highlighting what some officials have described as some of the most debilitating cybercampaigns linked to Beijing,” the report said.
- July 2021: The Biden administration and U.S. allies formally accused China’s Ministry of State Security with conducting a worldwide hacking campaign that included a major attack on Microsoft Exchange servers in March 2021. The attackers gained full access to user e-mails as well as passwords and administrator rights on hacked servers, and access to linked devices.
Other incidents include a 2004 hack on Sandia National Labs, a major 2006 cyberattack on the U.S. Commerce Department, a 2009 infiltration of the U.S. military’s F-35 program, and the 2010 hack on Google, Yahoo and Dow Chemical. And the list goes on.
This means China has untold terabytes of information on most all American adults, and the August 4 testimonies show that the Chinese can use it to blackmail U.S. citizens (including government employees), recruit insiders from various companies as spies, and apply pressure on those who speak out against China’s policies.
Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry has sounded the alarm for more than two decades about the dangers of the U.S.’s reliance on computer systems that are vulnerable to sabotage. In a January 1995 Trumpet article, Mr. Flurry quoted analyst Joseph de Courcy, who labeled this cyberdependence “the Western world’s Achilles’ heel”—a reference to the mythological Greek demigod who was susceptible to injury only on his heel.
“America is the greatest superpower this world has ever known,” Mr. Flurry wrote. “But we have a very vulnerable point in our military—our own Achilles’ heel.” This vulnerability “is so dangerous that I am amazed it hasn’t received more publicity” (ibid).
Mr. Flurry said de Courcy’s warning about America’s cybervulnerability brought to mind a Bible prophecy recorded in Ezekiel 7. The prophecy is issued to “the land of Israel” in the time of “the end” (verses 1-3), which refers mainly to modern-day United States and Britain. (You can prove this with a study of our free book The United States and Britain in Prophecy, by Herbert W. Armstrong.) Ezekiel 7 describes specific punishments God would send upon these nations due to their “abominations” (verse 8).
“They have blown the trumpet, even to make all ready; but none goeth to the battle: for my wrath is upon all the multitude thereof” (verse 14).
Mr. Flurry continued: “It seems everybody is expecting our people to go into battle, but the greatest tragedy imaginable occurs! Nobody goes to battle—even though the trumpet is blown! Will it be because of a computer terrorist?”
In the June 1999 issue of the Trumpet, Mr. Flurry again discussed the U.S. military’s dangerous vulnerability to cyberattacks, writing, “We could lose the next war before we even begin.”
The prospect of the mighty United States being hacked and losing the next war before it begins is bleak beyond words. But the ongoing attacks on the U.S. by Chinese operatives and the likelihood that Beijing is storing data that could give it untold leverage over affluent Americans highlight how vulnerable this Achilles’ heel may be.
To understand more about China’s role in Bible prophecy, and the great hope that is ultimately tied to trends now playing out, please order a free copy of Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry’s booklet Isaiah’s End-Time Vision.