Home » Cyber » U.S. National Security Adviser Warns China of Further Cyber Crimes

U.S. National Security Adviser Warns China of Further Cyber Crimes

by Mike Hoffman on March 12, 2013

The U.S. National Security Adviser issued a surprisingly stern warning to China on Monday when he specifically called out the country by name when discussing cyber threats to the U.S. government and businesses.

“Increasingly, U.S. businesses are speaking out about their serious concerns about sophisticated, targeted theft of confidential business information and proprietary technologies through cyber intrusions emanating from China on an unprecedented scale,” said Tom Donilon, the U.S. National Security Adviser, in a speech to the Asian Society in New York.

President Obama and his administration has raised the level of urgency in protecting the government and domestic businesses from the increased level of cyber attacks. However, U.S. leaders have avoided calling China out by name in the past.

Obama issued a call to increase cyber protection from increasing threats in his State of the Union, but he didn’t list China as a specific threat.

“We know foreign countries and companies swipe our corporate secrets. Now our enemies are also seeking the ability to sabotage our power grid, our financial institutions, and our air traffic control systems,” Obama said in his State of the Union.

On Monday, Donilon didn’t stray from naming China and pointing to the high number of cyber attacks that come from the country. He said that U.S. officials across federal agencies have addressed the concerns with Chinese leaders.

“From the President on down, this has become a key point of concern and discussion with China at all levels of our governments.  And it will continue to be,” Donilon said. “The United States will do all it must to protect our national networks, critical infrastructure, and our valuable public and private sector property.”

China has long been established as the worst offender for hosting attacks. Analysts have said thousands of cyber attacks target the White House every day. Many are assumed to emanate from China.

In September, a Chinese group of hackers reportedly broke into a White House network in what was called one of “Beijing’s most brazen cyberattacks.” The hackers broke into a “system used by the White House Military Office for nuclear commands,” according to a USA Today report.

Obama and his team have since increased the pressure on the Chinese to stop the state sponsored attacks or combat the groups responsible for them. Former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta discussed U.S. concerns on his last trip through the country.

Donilon went a step further issuing three steps the Chinese need to take to improve U.S. relations in regard to cyber security.

“First, we need a recognition of the urgency and scope of this problem and the risk it poses—to international trade, to the reputation of Chinese industry and to our overall relations,” he said. “Second, Beijing should take serious steps to investigate and put a stop to these activities. Finally, we need China to engage with us in a constructive direct dialogue to establish acceptable norms of behavior in cyberspace.”

Considering how the economies of the U.S. and China — the world’s two largest — depend on the Internet, these two countries must also work together in combating cyber crime, Donilon said.

“We have worked hard to build a constructive bilateral relationship that allows us to engage forthrightly on priority issues of concern.  And the United States and China, the world’s two largest economies, both dependent on the Internet, must lead the way in addressing this problem,” he said.

Share |

{ 51 comments… read them below or add one }

10thdiv March 12, 2013 at 2:05 am

We might as well just beg them to not steal hundreds of billions of dollars worth of secrets from us…..short of nuclear retaliation, they will NOT stop. It is way too lucrative for them to stop…


Warfighter March 12, 2013 at 9:29 am

Agreed, though a kinetic response would end up costing all of us far more than the current state of affairs.

We're still tied to lowest bidder issues, which means we're still going to be pumping billions into their economy to buy the latest gadget at the cheapest price. Until we decide to accept paying a higher price by bringing the type of work and manufacturing that is outsourced to China back home, they know they have us.


Russell Romick March 12, 2013 at 6:57 pm

By doing that we end up in not only a trade deficit but end up adding trillions to our already ginormous fiscal deficit. Spending our way out will not work as you suggest. Unless you also suggest someone new will continue tocash our cheques. Oh yeah China is cashing our useless cheques already, I forgot. We cannot win a trade war, we cannot win a fair price war, we cannot win a world war. I do not have answers but I do know spending makes it worse.


oblat March 12, 2013 at 7:43 am

Of course cyber attacks aren't even crimes anymore, they are legitimate acts of state – just ask the US cyber warfare center.


Vaporhead March 12, 2013 at 10:48 am

This type of warfare goes back to the beginning of war. It's just that this info is much easier to extract out of computers than it is to actually implant an operative. It will never end. Each government will bicker and moan about it, but nothing will ever change.


riicky March 12, 2013 at 11:20 am

If they want our secrets just become an ally lol, our allies eventually get e erything we have lol


Sean March 12, 2013 at 10:01 pm

Riicky is exactly correct. If we were allies with the Chinese, then we could not only control quality, but also keep the prices low. It makes no sense to make enemies with such a large supply of cheep labour. Improve the Chinese conditions of living at the same time as producing what we want at a reasonable price. There is no profit in war unless you are defending your nation or planning on taking over the country you are warring with. There is no point to it. Make allies, and establish mutual trade agreements. Live in peace. The Chinese are wonderful people.


jack March 12, 2013 at 12:29 pm

more empty threats from Obama and his socialist gang.


elportonative77 March 12, 2013 at 12:52 pm

HEY! Stop that……….please.

I'm gonna tell Mom if you keep that up! I swear I will!


Stan March 12, 2013 at 2:11 pm

I swear, the only reason we are not stealing from China is because they haven’t created anything worth stealing. One way to deal with this is through
extra-WTO trade penalties against any Chinese company known to use stolen intellectual property. Of course that would require a government willing to wage an honest to goodness trade war.


majr0d March 12, 2013 at 2:56 pm

That's a start.

We could also pass laws for companies to sue. Enact sanctions against companies involved or doing business with them (like we've done with Iran). We can seize funds and accounts pending litigation etc.

We can make the Chinese hurt but they will reciprocate.

Anything short of that is just talk and the technology stealing will continue.


Dfens March 12, 2013 at 3:24 pm

You bad old Chinese people, we're really mad now. If you don't stop stealing our technology we're going to issue another sternly worded memo!


Restore Palestine March 13, 2013 at 12:50 am

China, on the other hand, is acting more like an adult, ignoring the constant, massive cyber attacks from the US against its government and businesses.

The US is acting like a freaking spoiled kid, constantly crying "I can do this and this and this to you but you can't do anything similar to me, or I will call Mom."


Death to Pal March 14, 2013 at 3:56 am
Restore Palestine March 14, 2013 at 6:49 pm

Thank you for giving yourself away as a genuine home-grown terrorist and future police state robot.

With brainless domestic terrorists like yourself, the demise of the US is all but guaranteed.

You will be doing society a favor indeed. HaHa

Where did you get your Clown Science degree, by the way?


BEW March 12, 2013 at 9:12 pm

We might try to grab China by the throat, but they already have us by the balls.


USS ENTERPRISE March 12, 2013 at 9:22 pm

Once again. China and its cyber situation. Yes, we should build a safer network. If you ask me, companies should just have a completely separate computer system. That way, you create a sort of moat between your network and China's hackers. The US system of lying isn't the problem. China is. We have seen their ability to take our jobs, steal our designs for cars, drones, etc. It must stop. For all we know, China may turn into a massive Wikileaks, only giving away the top secret knowledge behind US war machines. I say create a moat between us and China. And quick.


Josh March 12, 2013 at 11:23 pm

I wish they’d quit talking and actually do something. It pains me to read articles like this. Hey china you better stop or…uhhh….


Restore Palestine March 13, 2013 at 12:12 am

Like what? The US couldn't do Jockshit with all the superior military technology, weaponry, logistical support, and financial resources in the Korean War and the Vietnam, when China was struggling economically following WWII, the Civil War, and disastrous political turmoil.

Now China is close to parity with the US in overall military technology, R&D, and is superior to the US in economic development, financial resources, industrial production, and international relations, among many other things.

If the US starts a war with China over there, I'll bet the ranch that the US military will be completely humiliated if not annihilated.


oblat March 13, 2013 at 1:14 am

The underlying problem is Americas inability to compete globally. The fact is that we'd rather uselessly posture militarily then make the necessary investments in education.

Because we refuse to change China is going to eat our lunch. Every high tech American company you know about will be replaced by a Chinese one in 20 years.


Dfens March 13, 2013 at 8:04 am

If education were really the problem, the salaries of current engineers would be climbing sharply due to a lack of supply. As it is engineering salaries have been flat to declining for about 2 decades. Young people who are capable of being engineers aren't stupid, they see what is going on and they are opting for better careers elsewhere. One of the brightest kids in my neighborhood decided to become a lawyer instead of going into engineering. As a lawyer, he will be a net drain on our economy, but he has a responsibility to himself first, not society, certainly not to a society that penalizes consumer product innovation with lawsuits like ours does.


ebbe March 13, 2013 at 9:34 am

I do believe that China is trying to hack into our systems and has been successful – why shouldn't they if it's available. However, I have to believe that the NSA has capabilities that are far superior to the Chinese hackers and that the NSA probably knows exactly who the hackers are and where they're located, and also has the ability to access to any cellphone and computer in China.


redordead March 13, 2013 at 12:07 pm

"a surprisingly stern warning to China", but not to stern of course, because we still need their loans, their products, their workforce.


Restore Palestine March 14, 2013 at 7:13 pm

The ways things are going, soon the US will need China's mercy and charity.

It won't be long before the US turns into a country of panhandlers.


vps March 14, 2013 at 11:48 am

Hello! I really love this blog. Tell me please – from where do you have information for ths blog?


Vaporhead March 14, 2013 at 2:43 pm

Bradley Manning.


Restore Palestine March 14, 2013 at 7:07 pm

Bradley Manning is a true American hero. It's unfortunate that he was in a military run by criminals and thugs.


david March 18, 2013 at 9:37 pm

China knows Obama and his gang are scared of them.


Pure Leverage Blog April 19, 2013 at 12:12 am
Jaunita April 19, 2013 at 2:21 am
@HarryInventor July 3, 2013 at 3:56 pm

You mean… like the usa's NSA cyber snooping on China, Hong Kong and Taiwan? Or did you mean like the usa's electronic snooping for commercial advantage against Europe and European industry? Or did you mean the usa's cyber snooping against all american citizens?

Those wicked Chinese and their paltry efforts.
Almost as bad as the usa's red-white-and-blue, star-spangled-bullflop, ah-waves-ma-cowboy-hat-in-da-air, durn-tottin' nice spying on billions of the planet Earth's residents?

"Oh say can you see… " Erm, no! It's still dark!


blight_ July 3, 2013 at 6:03 pm

"usa's electronic snooping for commercial advantage against Europe and European industry"


First I've heard of it. European companies would drop the hammer on American ones if it could be proven.


時計 ランキング September 15, 2013 at 11:13 pm
Bman March 12, 2013 at 11:20 am

When making such claims, it is best to use facts to back up your statements. Not your assumptions that brought you to make such radical and baseless claims.


greg March 12, 2013 at 2:29 pm

Where do you get your statistics.

If you are going to use the line statistically speaking, you better have facts to back it up.

Where are your facts.

Freaking clown, did you attend clown school with those deductive skills?


Juuso March 12, 2013 at 11:39 am

PRC is not a capitalist country? That's a news to me.


blight_ March 12, 2013 at 11:43 am

It's definitely not a command economy anymore.


Restore Palestine March 13, 2013 at 12:45 am

What does the B in Bman stand for? Brainless?

It's been widely known around the world that China is more capitalist than the US.

What is less known is that China is actually more democratic in picking leaders than the US, and more capable in putting competent leaders in office. Every single one of China's presidents and premiers in the past 30+ years has been capable, productive and effective leader. US presidents, on the other hand, have been simply pathetic, a reflection of the pathetic citizenry and the electorate of a pathetic country.


blight_ March 12, 2013 at 11:44 am

"building network immune to attack"

Air gaps are your friend.


William Peterson March 12, 2013 at 10:25 pm

We can? When most of our hardware is built in China, and contains Chinese backdoor access codes IN the Microchips, how can we make a network immune to attack?


Restore Palestine March 12, 2013 at 7:42 pm

Clown schools are for folks such as yourself.

I got my statistics by simply observing the obvious fact that the US government is by far the number one country in the world in making accusations against other countries, and the fact that the vast majority of those accusations have been groundless or fabricated.

To list a couple of prominent examples: the Vietnam War, 9-11 WTC attack, the Iraqi WMD.

You have got a lot of learning and reading to do before making claims and accusations, brainwashed Greg Clown. You are a typical American dumbass.


Jacob March 12, 2013 at 8:45 pm

Don't feed the troll.


JPMorgan March 12, 2013 at 8:53 pm
mememe March 12, 2013 at 9:12 pm

you forgot the Spanish American war, which set in motion our conquest of the pacific….


greg March 13, 2013 at 9:20 am

I have a computer science degree from Rutgers university number 11 at the time in the nation. Where again where you educated?

Oh thought so.

Furthermore putting out Conspiracy Theories aren't facts. They are debated theories but far from proven except in convoluted minds like yourself.

So put some facts on the table, with verifiable proof or shut up.

Also, you single out the US. Isn't it hypocritical to say they Israelis are stealing your land? I mean your own religious book records as historical fact that they are indeed from the land the Palestinians stole. not to mention our bible and many other historical books. Your whole plight is a lie. So by the same token your nation is founded on lies as you accuse us. As the history books record and your own Mohammad invaded lands and killed infadels.

Please don't lecture us on etiquette or civility or honesty. Look in the mirror first and do an honest assessment.

No nation is perfect, that is correct. But no nation is also the scapegoat of the worlds problems as you would like to make us.


Restore Palestine March 12, 2013 at 11:51 pm

Good. Now, tell me what facts has Tom Donilon used to back up his statements?

Note that I have backed up my statements, which I think should be immediately obvious without explicit proof to anyone conversant with world politics and history.


jhm March 13, 2013 at 5:24 pm

*yawn* please do something about it then.


Restore Palestine March 14, 2013 at 1:11 am

Do something about what?


blah March 14, 2013 at 6:38 pm

whoa you are an idiot to miss what he's saying.


Restore Palestine March 14, 2013 at 7:34 pm

Well, tell me what "it" refers to then.


greg March 14, 2013 at 10:10 pm

Got my phd in clown science…lmao, and I'm sure you know everything about it.


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: