"It's clear that this attack was so pervasive and so essential to the core of Google's intellectual property that only in such a situation would they contemplate pulling the plug on their entire business model in China," said James Mulvenon, a China cyber expert with Defense Group Inc.
Congressional sources said the other companies include Adobe and possibly Northrop Grumman and Dow Chemical. Industry sources said the attacks were even broader, affecting 34 firms.
They appeared to be after information on weapons systems from defense firms and were seeking companies' "source code," the most valuable form of intellectual property because it underlies the firms' computer applications, he said.
Several of the Internet addresses correspond to those used in malicious attacks against the defense industry last year and that are thought to be linked in some fashion to the Chinese government.
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