A recent computer intrusion that forced the FBI to shut down its computer network and disrupted FBI operations was traced to an e-mail containing malicious code that originated in China, according to FBI officials.
The forced shutdown of the network affected one significant FBI operation -- the May 20 arrest of homegrown terrorism suspects in New York, said officials who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter.
"The Chinese shut down our network," said one FBI official familiar with assessments of the attack.
The FBI network disruptions followed a similar penetration of the Defense Department e-mail system used by Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates in 2007, which defense officials have said was traced to computer servers in China.
FBI spokesman Mike Kortan declined to address the suspected Chinese origin of the computer strike or its likely penetration through an e-mail attachment.
Chinese Embassy press spokeswoman Wei Xin said China has a "resolute policy of opposing and cracking down on cyber crimes including hacking, according to law."