Internet traffic to major US government, military and corporate sites was briefly rerouted through China, a report by a congressional advisory group has claimed.
The report by the US-China Economic and Security review commission found that last April China Telecom sent incorrect routing information, resulting in the redirection of traffic via China for 18 minutes.
"Evidence related to this incident does not clearly indicate whether it was perpetrated intentionally and, if so, to what ends. However, computer security researchers have noted that the capability could enable severe malicious activities," said the report obtained by Reuters.
The report said that some of the traffic rerouted through China was destined for sites owned by the U.S. Senate, the office of the Secretary of Defense, NASA and the Commerce Department.
The commission is still unclear if the hijacking was deliberate, or resulted in any loss of theft of data.
State-run China Telecom, however, denies hijacking the internet traffic.
In an e-mailed statement to Reuters, China Telecom said: "The spokesman of China Telecom Corporation Limited denied any hijack of internet traffic."