China reacts: Hey, we’re really just victims of hacking ourselves here

posted at 3:21 pm on May 29, 2013 by Erika Johnsen

China’s reliable go-to rejoinder to all accusations of nefarious international behavior is straight-up denial delivered in the shrillest tones of shocked and aggrieved outrage, and their reaction to yesterday’s report that the Chinese government is behind the recent round of dangerous cyber-intrusion into the United States’ advanced weapons systems was pretty much the same drill. WaPo follows up:

China on Wednesday again denied that it has used cyberattacks to steal American military and business secrets, following new accusations leveled this week.

“China opposes all forms of cyberattacks. China is also a victim of hacking,” said Assistant Foreign Minister Zheng Zeguang during a press briefing previewing Chinese President Xi Jinping’s meeting with President Obama next week. Zheng noted that China and the United States have agreed to set up a working group to regularly discuss the issue.

The White House has said Obama will raise the issue at next week’s meeting, but Chinese officials responded to questions about it Wednesday with the same talking points it has long used on the subject.

Really, guys? Yes, China is home to a robust culture of private and commercial hacking, and no doubt they have both homegrown and foreign hackers trying to get into their own government systems — but they are conveniently skirting the issue that a huge gaping swath of the recent infiltration into the United States’ defense systems is directly attributable to the Chinese government and military (and let’s not even get started on the hundreds of millions of dollars in intellectual property theft coming out of the communist country).

This is about the large-scale, coordinated, and systematic assaults on the United States’ military infrastructure that would be all too handy-dandy for the Chinese regime to have some information on, especially considering President Obama’s proclaimed foreign-policy “pivot to Asia.” I suppose denial is indeed the best tactic at this point, given that there are really no sanctions or costs or diplomatic actions with which to disincentivize cyber-intruders, but it’s going to be a brave new world of trying to nail down some enforcement on this issue:

President Barack Obama will discuss cyber security with Chinese President Xi Jinping during a meeting in California next week, as Washington becomes increasingly worried about Chinese hacking of U.S. military networks.

“Cyber security is a key priority of this administration. It is a key concern that we have,” White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters on Air Force One as Obama flew to New Jersey.

“It is an issue that we raise at every level in our meetings with our Chinese counterparts, and I’m sure it will be a topic of discussion when the president meets with President Xi in California in early June,” he said.


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Liars

Schadenfreude on May 29, 2013 at 3:26 PM

Fakers of the world

Schadenfreude on May 29, 2013 at 3:27 PM

Fake euro coins from China.

Belgium and Italy are big hugs for the contraband.

Schadenfreude on May 29, 2013 at 3:28 PM

Charlatanic cheaters of the world

Schadenfreude on May 29, 2013 at 3:29 PM

Went right with the “Obama/Holder” defense….brilliant!

trs on May 29, 2013 at 3:30 PM

“And that big building over there, hey, what IS that, where’d it come from, never seen THAT before, what in the world, whaa…”

Lourdes on May 29, 2013 at 3:33 PM

Obama’s going to mention it to them?

That’ll scare ‘em straight, all right!

Adjoran on May 29, 2013 at 3:36 PM

Obama will tongue-wash their collective azzes, and bow, soon.

Schadenfreude on May 29, 2013 at 3:37 PM

Why will you not give us your passwords when you are making sex to me?!!?

Gatsu on May 29, 2013 at 3:42 PM

“China opposes all forms of cyberattacks. China is also a victim of hacking,” said Assistant Foreign Minister Zheng Zeguang

…oh look!…our next Attorney General!

KOOLAID2 on May 29, 2013 at 3:42 PM

Yeah, China? And on those days in 2006 when my 64K frame relay was being saturated and I tracert’d to your router in Guangdong while you were trying to hack my email server – was that because my company was getting competitive bids from other companies and you wanted to see what the other guy were bidding so you could underbid them, or was that honey trap I set up that got you overly excited?

I see you China – you haven’t changed a bit.

Funny what happens when you create a junk folder with binary noise in it labeled “SDI” – I’m sure it really p8ssed your boys off.

Turtle317 on May 29, 2013 at 3:42 PM

Charlatanic cheaters of the world

Schadenfreude on May 29, 2013 at 3:29 PM

Funny thing is the last time I exchanged dollars for RMB in China, they rejected about half my money because it didn’t pass the counterfeit test. (They run the bills through some sort of flaky machine.) The money was good, and I’m pretty sure he knew it, but rules are rules, and if the machine rejects the bill, he can’t exchange it.

So they’re pretty paranoid about fake money over there.

The Rogue Tomato on May 29, 2013 at 3:42 PM

Zheng said the countries must “walk a new path that is different from traditional superpower confrontations, a new path under which big powers can live in harmony, cooperating with mutual benefit.”

Translation: “Sure, we’ll help you catch these hackers we don’t know anything about. Now please tell us how you caught ours, er I mean, them.”

apostic on May 29, 2013 at 3:46 PM

And? We’re supposed to be mad at China or something?

How about we do something sensible, like secure the gd sensative information of advanced weapons systems?

Or, is that like, too much to ask or something?

P.S. if you think we’re not trying to hack Chinese databases, yep, we are.

Aquateen Hungerforce on May 29, 2013 at 3:50 PM

@ill

Most Americans only have one or two kids these days. My grandparents managed to raise 12 kids in a small home.

Also single moms are providing housing for their children every day with just ONE income

terryannonline on May 29, 2013 at 3:59 PM

I wish we would DDoS all the places they did their hacking from and generally make a mess of their hacking activities through an active defense. I hate just sitting back and letting them do what they want without consequence.

kaltes on May 29, 2013 at 3:59 PM

At least if you like Chinese food you’ll be loving our new Asian overlords.

Well……..if you’re not in one of those debtor camps playing Hunger Games that is.

PappyD61 on May 29, 2013 at 4:02 PM

Obama’s farm team for a Holder replacement?

countrybumpkin on May 29, 2013 at 4:03 PM

China has investigated itself and has found itself to be innocent.

jukin3 on May 29, 2013 at 4:11 PM

If only there were real life consequences to fall upon folks who hack in the cyber realm. The occassional digital horsehead turning up under the sheets might achieve something.

GWB on May 29, 2013 at 4:23 PM

Y’know, this is why I have lanyard decorated with the skull ‘n’ crossbones at work. Sometime ago, a company retaliated against hackers and got in trouble for it when it came to light the hackers were in another country. In response. someone made this modest proposal: Give cybersecurity companies letters of marque and turn them loose. Never happen, of course. But I long for the thrill of such hunts.

apostic on May 29, 2013 at 4:25 PM

I wish we would DDoS all the places they did their hacking from and generally make a mess of their hacking activities through an active defense. I hate just sitting back and letting them do what they want without consequence.

kaltes on May 29, 2013 at 3:59 PM

We do have a reasonably active offensive/defensive Cyber-security in place (both DoD and non-DoD).

The problem becomes the same as utilizing Special Forces groups: this is more political will & means, and right now the momentum is to China.

And if that doesn’t scare you, think about this: There’s only 2 reasons China would want this kind of information: to counteract it…or to sell it.

If China sells it, try to imagine counties like Iran, Venezuela or Russian having access to combat Battlefield & Strategic weapons systems and using it against United States forces.

If China keeps it, it raises the possibility that China may not consider us to be a “friend” or “trading partner” and may actively use it to secure Chinese hegemony in Asia.

BlaxPac on May 29, 2013 at 4:30 PM

Who in the hell would be stupid enough to put secret plans out on the internet, especially if with microsoft?

VorDaj on May 29, 2013 at 4:46 PM

I suppose denial is indeed the best tactic at this point, given that there are really no sanctions or costs or diplomatic actions with which to disincentivize cyber-intruders,

Nothing we can do? Nothing at all?

DFCtomm on May 29, 2013 at 5:29 PM

Nothing we can do? Nothing at all?

DFCtomm on May 29, 2013 at 5:29 PM

Short of hundreds of assassin teams or multiple EMP strikes (can’t hack with no power and/or fried computers), not all that much we CAN do.

MelonCollie on May 29, 2013 at 10:39 PM

What’s really amazing is that the US doesn’t carry out any cyberespionage against China.

DarkCurrent on May 30, 2013 at 12:17 AM

Time to block all Chinese IP addressess at the root servers.

scrub_oak on May 30, 2013 at 6:23 AM

or addresses :)

scrub_oak on May 30, 2013 at 6:24 AM

Short of hundreds of assassin teams or multiple EMP strikes (can’t hack with no power and/or fried computers), not all that much we CAN do.

MelonCollie on May 29, 2013 at 10:39 PM

What about revoking that favored nation trade status? What, we’ve allowed ourselves to become so intertwined with a potential enemy that we can’t even use economic sanctions without harming ourselves as much as them? That’s a stupid position to allow yourself to be caught in.

What’s really amazing is that the US doesn’t carry out any cyberespionage against China.

DarkCurrent on May 30, 2013 at 12:17 AM

What intellectual property do we wish to steal from China? The information we’re interested in requires good old fashion espionage, so that might be why.

DFCtomm on May 30, 2013 at 8:42 AM

China and Obama. Wonderful. Both crooks.

pat on June 1, 2013 at 9:39 PM

Two years ago I was building a house for my family. I was very interested in solar cells. Even started to put together a company with a friend. Then I stopped cold. One hour on Google and it seemed pretty plain that this may be one big con game pulled off by the US Government for the benefit of certain “friends” that got stuck with inferiority solar cells.

Solar cells do work and can reach efficiency in the upper 40% with a long and stable life. There is much research being done to make them even better. That was not the case with the average cells being used. The technologies were 10-20 years old and the efficiency levels were in the teens. The problems and failure rates were well known. Many of these operations were so heavily subsidized by the US Government that it drove out of business many “Good Cell” companies. Most of the Subsidies have expired and so have these “Sun Shine” companies that relied on them.

This is much the same with wind generators. The basic design of a very large wind mill is flawed and inefficient but this is where the big players went. The big government is saying this is the way to go because they have the really TOP people working on it. Wind generation has a lot of basic research being done, mostly by home engineers and back yard scientist. Some of it is very innovate and promising. Most of it will die off for lack of a proper forum. Something other than Youtube and the BIG Government is needed.

Word to the wise on this. It is amazing what you can find out in an hour or two on Google. If you are reading this, you have already shown that you have all the Internet skills that are needed. No excuses for not finding things out for yourself. One thing I found out is that you can not trust Big Government for answers. The bigger the government gets, the less it can be relied on.

jpcpt03 on June 2, 2013 at 6:11 AM