Chinese cyber espionage continues to target a “broad spectrum of U.S. interests,” including national security information, sensitive economic data and intellectual property, the U.S. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said on Thursday.

“Although China is an advanced cyber actor in terms of capabilities, Chinese hackers are often able to gain access to their targets without having to resort to using advanced capabilities,” Clapper told the House of Representatives Intelligence Committee.

He said improved U.S. cyber security would

complicate Chinese cyber espionage “by addressing the less sophisticated threats and raising the cost and risk if China persists,” according to a written statement Clapper provided to the committee.

Clapper said the risk of a “catastrophic attack from any particular actor is remote at this time” but that he foresees continued “low-to-moderate level cyber attacks” that could undermine U.S. economic competitiveness and national security.

(Reporting by Matt Spetalnick; Editing by Bill Trott)

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