US intelligence director warns of more Russian cyberthreats

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In this Jan. 23, 2017, file photo, National Intelligence Director, former Indiana Sen, Dan Coats waits for the start of a meeting with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky. on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The director of national intelligence says Russia and other countries, including China, North Korea and Iran, are using cyberspace to target U.S. and its allies, and will do so in future.

The Senate intelligence committee is holding a hearing on worldwide threats, and intelligence director Dan Coats says Russia is a threat to U.S. government, military, diplomatic, business and critical infrastructure.

Coats says Iran also is making use of its high-tech capabilities. In 2013, an Iranian hacker intruded into the industrial control system of an American dam. In 2014, there was a data-deletion attack against a U.S.-based casino.

Coats says China is targeting the U.S. government and American businesses. He says such activity has diminished since U.S.-China cyber commitments in 2015.

Coats’ comments are coming in his prepared remarks.