Pentagon: Let’s get real here — a lot of this cyber espionage is coming from the Chinese military

posted at 1:21 pm on May 7, 2013 by Erika Johnsen

We were all very clearly already thinking it, but the U.S. Department of Defense has taken the administration’s stance to official-status with their annual report to Congress on Chinese military developments. Real talk, via the NYT:

The Obama administration on Monday explicitly accused China’s military of mounting attacks on American government computer systems and defense contractors, saying one motive could be to map “military capabilities that could be exploited during a crisis.”

While some recent estimates have more than 90 percent of cyberespionage in the United States originating in China, the accusations relayed in the Pentagon’s annual report to Congress on Chinese military capabilities were remarkable in their directness. Until now the administration avoided directly accusing both the Chinese government and the People’s Liberation Army of using cyberweapons against the United States in a deliberate, government-developed strategy to steal intellectual property and gain strategic advantage. …

The report, released Monday, described China’s primary goal as stealing industrial technology, but said many intrusions also seemed aimed at obtaining insights into American policy makers’ thinking. It warned that the same information-gathering could easily be used for “building a picture of U.S. network defense networks, logistics, and related military capabilities that could be exploited during a crisis.”

Why choose the Pentagon’s annual report to take a clear-cut position around which the White House has long skirted? Unclear, although a senior level White House official mentioned that “this was a thoroughly coordinated report.” Whichever way it happens, of course, China isn’t going to like that. Any negative media reports are reliably met with petulant and self-righteous protestations from communist regime officials, and this report is getting the usual outrageous-outrage treatment from Chinese spokesmen:

The U.S. Defense Department had repeatedly “made irresponsible comments about China’s normal and justified defense build-up and hyped up the so-called China military threat,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said.

“This is not beneficial to U.S.-China mutual trust and cooperation,” Hua told reporters. “We are firmly opposed to this and have already made representations to the U.S. side.” …

On the accusations of hacking, Hua said: “We firmly oppose any groundless criticism and hype, because groundless hype and criticism will only harm bilateral efforts at cooperation and dialogue.”

Riiiight. The Pentagon report pointed out that China’s publicly announced defense spending has grown at an inflation-adjusted pace of almost ten percent annually over the past decade, but they suspect that the actual numbers are higher, and that espionage is one of the main factors fueling their military buildup.

The DoD has already been making major moves to address the growing cyber-security threats, but sounds like they finally think it’s time to call China out on their many deceptions.


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I, for one, welcome our new Chinese overlords.

myiq2xu on May 7, 2013 at 1:26 PM

I for one welcome our new Chinese Mexican overlords.

Viva LaBomb-bah!!

PappyD61 on May 7, 2013 at 1:33 PM

Guess Barry has kissed off borrowing any more money from the Chinese.

GarandFan on May 7, 2013 at 1:36 PM

ChiCom hackers? NO surprise here…

Khun Joe on May 7, 2013 at 1:38 PM

Guess Barry has kissed off borrowing any more money from the Chinese.

GarandFan on May 7, 2013 at 1:36 PM

I believe the Fed actually holds more US debt than China does now.

Doomberg on May 7, 2013 at 1:44 PM

How do they know the attackers are Chinese? An hour after they block one attack, they want to block another?

The Rogue Tomato on May 7, 2013 at 1:45 PM

Why does the Pentagon have critical computer systems hooked up to the internet in the first place? Closing that door should be fairly simple: Unplug internet access. For critical computer access from off site, manually-accessed dial up (I know, slow) on a secure phone line could be used.

The Chinese can’t hack it if it ain’t hooked up.

Same thing goes for our power infrastructure, NO controls whatsoever should be accessible via internet. Readouts, status? Sure. But no controls.

iurockhead on May 7, 2013 at 1:47 PM

Pentagon: Let’s get real here — a lot of this cyber espionage is coming from the Chinese military

Brought to you by technology stolen from Intel, Apple, Dell, Microsoft, et al, and students educated in the very best universities the United States has to offer.

thatsafactjack on May 7, 2013 at 1:47 PM

many intrusions also seemed aimed at obtaining insights into American policy makers’ thinking.

Lotsa luck with that. Our policy makers are as insightful as a box of rocks.

Happy Nomad on May 7, 2013 at 1:48 PM

Watch me walk around yellow noodle town

–one of Charles’s sock puppets.

tom daschle concerned on May 7, 2013 at 1:50 PM

The US company was warned and did Nothing/Nada, until it was too late.

Bill Clinton sold the secrets to the Chines. Obama gives them away.

Many aid him in the process, in the US.

Schadenfreude on May 7, 2013 at 1:50 PM

Chinese

Schadenfreude on May 7, 2013 at 1:51 PM

Time to issue a strongly worded statement–And we really, really mean it this time.

mwbri on May 7, 2013 at 1:51 PM

The report, released Monday, described China’s primary goal as stealing industrial technology

It’s very interesting about socialist and communist countries: they can’t develop ideas and new technologies of their own (because communism doesn’t offer proper incentives to develop them). So instead they steal from others.

It’s like when Canada took pharmaceuticals that were developed in the U.S. at enormous cost and energy and then copied them and sold them at great discounts saying “See! We offer medicine almost for free. That means we’re more caring than our greedy Southern neighbor.”

The Soviet Union put astonishing effort and resources into stealing technology from the U.S. They knew their system couldn’t develop anything on its own, so they just took from us instead. Liberals all over the world were in awe: “Look, the Soviet Union can compete with the U.S. in goods and services sort of. And they don’t have any of that evil capitalism.”

What liberals don’t quite get is that when the U.S. completes its transformation into socialism, it won’t be producing or creating anything new anymore and therefore there won’t be anything worth going to the trouble to get. To adapt Thatcher: “Socialism and progress (in medicine, labor-saving devices, science, etc.) stops working when there’s nothing worthwhile to steal anymore.”

Burke on May 7, 2013 at 1:52 PM

Brought to you by technology stolen from Intel, Apple, Dell, Microsoft, et al, and students educated in the very best universities the United States has to offer.

thatsafactjack on May 7, 2013 at 1:47 PM

The M.O. of Communist nations since WW2 ended: wait for the West to invent something your oppressed peasants are too uneducated, too poor, and/or too scared to try and make under your regime. Then steal it and make cheap knock-offs.

Though our laziness makes theft easy, it must gall them that they know they can never match us. Their back-asswards, socially unstable nation with a short-fused population bomb simply will not make parity possible.

MelonCollie on May 7, 2013 at 1:54 PM

Guess Barry has kissed off borrowing any more money from the Chinese.

GarandFan
on May 7, 2013 at 1:36 PM

I believe the Fed actually holds more US debt than China does now.

Doomberg on May 7, 2013 at 1:44 PM

.
Oh, that’s a GREAT relief. We’ll all sleep better tonight, knowing that. : )

.
Slightly O T:

Are there any Chinese still alive, who would remember aiding Doolittle’s Tokyo raiders elude the Japanese? I don’t know what that has to do with Chinese cyber espionage, but as I was reading it the thought came to mind and I couldn’t shake it.

listens2glenn on May 7, 2013 at 1:55 PM

In 50 years there will be one world, called Russia, capital in DC, run by the Chinese.

Schadenfreude on May 7, 2013 at 1:58 PM

In 50 years there will be one world, called Russia, capital in DC, run by the Chinese.

Schadenfreude on May 7, 2013 at 1:58 PM

.
There’s some “stupid” book out there, that predicts a ‘one world government’ that will last approx three and one half years (maybe longer).

I don’t know why people pay attention to such far-out books.

listens2glenn on May 7, 2013 at 2:07 PM

There’s some “stupid” book out there, that predicts a ‘one world government’ that will last approx three and one half years (maybe longer).

I don’t know why people pay attention to such far-out books.

listens2glenn on May 7, 2013 at 2:07 PM

One reason may be the number of self-defined “intellectuals” who dream of being the rulers in such a “Perfect State”. They’re probably the ones buying these books.

The trouble is, of course, that any such state would suffer the same fate as the Islamists’ dreamed-of “New Caliphate”. That is, it wouldn’t even last three and a half years, because inside of six months, every one of its leaders would be looking at the others and thinking,

You know, he’d look so much better with a knife sticking out of his back.

cheers

eon

eon on May 7, 2013 at 2:23 PM

What liberals don’t quite get is that when the U.S. completes its transformation into socialism, it won’t be producing or creating anything new anymore and therefore there won’t be anything worth going to the trouble to get. To adapt Thatcher: “Socialism and progress (in medicine, labor-saving devices, science, etc.) stops working when there’s nothing worthwhile to steal anymore.”

Last time I checked, most of the innovation was coming from those same ‘liberals’ that you brand as socialists. Believe it or now, innovation and scientific progress in this country has never been stronger. Your armchair observations are really bizarre.
Anyway, you don’t seem to understand the form of socialism- state ownership and control of corporations- that Hatcher was addressing.

bayam on May 7, 2013 at 2:35 PM

because communism doesn’t offer proper incentives to develop them). So instead they steal from others.
Burke on May 7, 2013 at 1:52 PM

I don’t think communism of itself has an inherent disincentive for innovation because there could be non-material rewards for innovation, such as public praise, satisfaction in solving problems and so on.

China wasn’t hugely innovative even before it flirted with communism and today, despite the insistence of some HotAir commentators, China is not even remotely a communist society, other than in official rhetoric and propaganda.

My explanation for why the Chinese are (relatively speaking) bad at innovation because of their underlying culture that has traditionally preferred deference to elders and “superiors”, conformity and “keeping face”. These culture traits do not encourage innovation nor nurture prospective innovators; Chinese students and workers alike are more inclined to “receive” and “follow” than to “question” and “lead”. It just so happens that those culture traits are easily co-opted by ideologies such as communism.

Contemporary western students and workers seem to be the opposite — questioning even what is long established (e.g. the basis for marriage) and pursuing individualism even to self-destruction. These traits provide an environment (at least for a few decades until the whole society collapses from self-contradiction) in which innovation flourishes and knowledge expands.

YiZhangZhe on May 7, 2013 at 2:44 PM

bayam on May 7, 2013 at 2:35 PM

There is nothing remotely liberal about the left any longer.

Perhaps you’re right, for once, Bayam. Perhaps I underestimated those technological giants.

Maybe they weren’t so greedy that they rushed to do business in a nation notorious for corporate espionage, deliberately ignoring repeated warnings from BILL CLINTON and others.

Maybe their operations weren’t so poorly designed and managed that it made stealing the secrets of their technology laughably easy.

Maybe, as you seem to suggest, these tech innovators of the left, each a genius in his field, intentionally became the victims of Chinese corporate espionage, thus enabling the Chinese to try to use that technology to hack out military information and control systems.

You know, with you to speak for them, the left doesn’t need any enemies.

thatsafactjack on May 7, 2013 at 2:50 PM

There’s some “stupid” book out there, that predicts a ‘one world government’ that will last approx three and one half years (maybe longer).

I don’t know why people pay attention to such far-out books.

listens2glenn on May 7, 2013 at 2:07 PM

One reason may be the number of self-defined “intellectuals” who dream of being the rulers in such a “Perfect State”. They’re probably the ones buying these books.

eon on May 7, 2013 at 2:23 PM

Your reply to listens2glenn is very funny if you were making a sophisticated, ironic joke, and much, much funnier if you were being serious.
:)

YiZhangZhe on May 7, 2013 at 2:51 PM

Are there any Chinese still alive, who would remember aiding Doolittle’s Tokyo raiders elude the Japanese? I don’t know what that has to do with Chinese cyber espionage, but as I was reading it the thought came to mind and I couldn’t shake it.

listens2glenn on May 7, 2013 at 1:55 PM

There must be. The remaining members of the Doolittle raid just held their 71st, and final reunion.

bigmacdaddy on May 7, 2013 at 2:57 PM

Pentagon: Let’s get real here — a lot of this cyber espionage is coming from the Chinese military

Remind me again … why is this so hard to acknowledge?

Jaibones on May 7, 2013 at 3:09 PM

Astounding, I could trace hits on my computer coming from China back in 2007. What ITH is going on at the pentagon?

jake49 on May 7, 2013 at 3:17 PM

Read Tom Clancy’s relatively new book Threat Vector if you want to learn how Chinese cyber espionage is done.

Threat Vector by Tom Clancy

http://www.amazon.com/Threat-Vector-Jack-Ryan-Novels/dp/0399160450/ref=sr_1_1_ha?ie=UTF8&qid=1367954879&sr=8-1&keywords=Threat+vector

Tom Clancy’s books are considered fiction, but shortly after I finished reading this action-packed book, I started seeing what could have been excerpts taken directly from this book, appearing in actual news stories.

wren on May 7, 2013 at 3:37 PM

Why havent we been treating this as an act of war and reposnding appropriately?

paulsur on May 7, 2013 at 3:54 PM

Last time I checked, most of the innovation was coming from those same ‘liberals’ that you brand as socialists. Believe it or now, innovation and scientific progress in this country has never been stronger. Your armchair observations are really bizarre.
Anyway, you don’t seem to understand the form of socialism- state ownership and control of corporations- that Hatcher was addressing.

bayam on May 7, 2013 at 2:35 PM

Innovations like “green energy” and electric cars?

Doomberg on May 7, 2013 at 4:09 PM

Why havent we been treating this as an act of war and reposnding appropriately?

paulsur on May 7, 2013 at 3:54 PM

Appropriately, you can answer your own question by referring to the ancient Chinese military text, known as “The Art of War”, by SunTzu.

http://www.sonshi.com/suntintro.html

YiZhangZhe on May 7, 2013 at 4:13 PM

Pentagon: Let’s get real here — a lot of this cyber espionage is coming from the Chinese military

Remind me again … why is this so hard to acknowledge?

Jaibones on May 7, 2013 at 3:09 PM

This is difficult for the establishment to acknowledge, because China supplies the cheap circus part of the bread and circuses that are required to keep the general public quiet about it’s ever shrinking piece of the economic pie. Economically what happens if we restrict trade with China?

DFCtomm on May 7, 2013 at 5:24 PM

Pentagon: Let’s get real here — a lot of this cyber espionage is coming from the Chinese military

Remind me again … why is this so hard to acknowledge?

Jaibones on May 7, 2013 at 3:09 PM

This is difficult for the establishment to acknowledge, because China supplies the cheap circus part of the bread and circuses that are required to keep the general public quiet about it’s ever shrinking piece of the economic pie. Economically what happens if we restrict trade with China?

DFCtomm on May 7, 2013 at 5:24 PM

There are many things we can do without restricting trade. How about stopping student visas for engineering and computer science for Red Chinese nationals?

slickwillie2001 on May 7, 2013 at 6:14 PM

YiZhangZhe on May 7, 2013 at 4:13 PM

You claim that a culture in which “innovation a flourishes and knowledge expands” is doomed to collapse.

That very innovation and expanding knowledge is what makes a society or culture flourish, and it increases its survival chances exponentially over cultures and societies who lack these qualities. These qualities are necessary for adaptability. That which does not adapt to changing conditions ceases to exist.

thatsafactjack on May 7, 2013 at 7:21 PM

There are many things we can do without restricting trade. How about stopping student visas for engineering and computer science for Red Chinese nationals?

slickwillie2001 on May 7, 2013 at 6:14 PM

So you wish to continue to give favored nation trade status to a hostile nation? I admit that to change the dynamic would create a great deal of pain, but in the end it’s the right thing to do.

DFCtomm on May 8, 2013 at 8:37 AM