Home » Cyber » Hagel Calls Out China on Cyber Attacks

Hagel Calls Out China on Cyber Attacks

by Mike Hoffman on June 3, 2013

130531-D-BW835-280Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel was the latest U.S. leader to name China as one of the leading threats to U.S. cyber security when he made a speech on his trip to Singapore over the weekend.

“The United States has expressed our concerns about the growing threat of cyber intrusions, some of which appear to be tied to the Chinese government and military,” Hagel said at a defense conference on June 1.

Hagel offered some comments even before he arrived to Singapore to reporters flying with him on his plane. As the issue of cyber security grows and more leaders highlight the threat to national security, more questions have arisen within the question and answer sessions leaders hold with the media.

Hagel made his comments in Singapore after the Washington Post reported that a Defense Science Board had found that China had hacked into the designs of dozens of the U.S. military’s top weapons programs. Using that report as a news peg, Hagel was asked if he thought “the strategy of calling out China publicly has borne fruit?’

The defense secretary back pedaled a bit saying it’s difficult to prove who conducts a cyber attack but he said the Pentagon could tell where the attacks start.

“It’s pretty hard to prove that they are directed by any specific entity.  But we can tell where they come from.  And I think we’ve got to be honest with that — about that.  I think we’ve got to let people know that,” Hagel said on May 31.

He said the U.S. would prefer to keep these concerns private, but the threat has forced leadership to shine a public light on it.

“You solve these problems and you get to an understanding by using the other range of your — of your capacities and that’s more private,” Hagel said on May 31. “But it has to be public as well.  And we’ll deal with this.  We must deal with this.  This is a very dangerous threat to all of us.”

He further defined his concern with the growing threat of cyber attacks and the level of worry the Pentagon has about them.

“Cyber threats are real.  They’re terribly dangerous.  They’re probably as insidious and real a threat to the United States — as well as China, by the way — and every nation.  This is not a threat just unique to America.  It’s unique to no one.  It crosses all borders,” Hagel said.

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{ 51 comments… read them below or add one }

Michael June 3, 2013 at 6:05 pm

What makes the cyber intrusions from China so unique is our economic co-dependence with them. True "it's unique to no one" and "crosses all borders", but when the intrusions are voluminous, compromising to national security, and originating from a high-level economic partner, it's a little more than unique. This is bad…real real bad.


PolicyWonk June 3, 2013 at 6:50 pm

Correct – this is a very bad situation.

And its also a part of the situation that Pat Buchanan warned about repeatedly in his many editorials from 2002-2008.


guest June 4, 2013 at 4:37 am

You can thank Bill Clinton for signing the NAFTA treaty that lead to the relocation of jobs and factories to Communist China and ultimately wiped out the American Middle Class workers.


guest1 June 4, 2013 at 5:45 pm

Reagan probably did more to hurt the middle class than Bill Clinton(or any other President since)


USS ENTERPRISE June 5, 2013 at 5:53 pm

Are we counting Bush?

Restore Palestine June 5, 2013 at 11:37 am

Only the very naive and the uninformed would actually buy into this kind of propaganda.

The US is by far the biggest source of cyber security threat. No other country even come close. To cover up the persistent security intrusions and disruptions to other countries, the US govt is pulling the oldest and the lamest dirty trick in its bag – false flag operations followed by false accusations.

Of course the average American is too dumb and too brainwashed to see through any of this. Besides, it's just too painful psychologically to face the truth.


USS ENTERPRISE June 5, 2013 at 5:54 pm

All hail Chairman Mao and his comrade Putin!



Restore Palestine June 6, 2013 at 6:31 pm

At least Mao and Putin had more backbone and talent than GW Bush, Obama, Clinton, GH Bush, Reagan, …


Corvan June 5, 2013 at 6:18 pm

So go ahead and explain why virtually every government across the west is reporting exactly the same thing? Let me guess, it's a conspiracy!

Grow up & take your childish grudge somewhere else.


Restore Palestine June 5, 2013 at 11:46 pm

When it comes to anything cyber, you are the child here, and don't have the slightest clue about false flag cyber operations and the unified propaganda apparatus (what you would call "every government across the west" because of your sheer ignorance and lack of basic education and common sense).

You need to take your own advice and grow up. It's going to be extremely hard for you because it takes a lot of brain power and discipline.


Jeff June 11, 2013 at 7:13 pm

Any chance you've been reading the news in the past few days?


USS ENTERPRISE June 3, 2013 at 6:36 pm

Theres a lot of bitterness in that picture….


Hde June 3, 2013 at 7:03 pm

Big deal. A few words in a speech. Obama doesn't have the nuts to put pressure on China to stop so nothing will change.


Meph June 4, 2013 at 1:23 am

Well, it seems hard to convincingly pressure someone who is holding most of your money…


Jo the Nipper June 4, 2013 at 3:58 am

Sad, very sad but true non the less


yogiberra111 June 4, 2013 at 11:17 am

The Chinese are not holding our money they are holding our debt. There is an old addage in the finance business: if you owe the bank ten thousand dollars you have a problem; if you owe the bank ten million dollars the bank has a problem.


blight_ June 4, 2013 at 4:57 pm

Whoops, I defaulted.

You gonna pay for that?


Restore Palestine June 6, 2013 at 2:42 am

When a country defaults, both the govt and the citizens will pay dearly, especially the low income groups (including the "middle class").

The larger the default, the higher the price they pay. There has not been a single exception. And the US is not going to be one.

Restore Palestine June 6, 2013 at 2:39 am

yogiberra111, that's a joke by dead beats. America is full of dead beats and the

US govt has been acting like a dead beat. But if you think a dead beat can get

away so easily by accumulating humongous amount of debt and default, I suggest you first spend a few months reading up on the history of countries following a large govt default.


yogiberra111 June 6, 2013 at 5:36 pm

Restore Palestine: I see no point in responding to you based on the content of your many previous comments. Suffice it to say that I will stack my knowledge of economics and finance up against yours any time, sight unseen and for any stakes.

Bill June 4, 2013 at 11:19 am

Neither did Bush or Clinton – All use China as a rallying point for Voters, but they'll never do anything until its too late. Same with reforming the tax code, there are so many examples really.


Restore Palestine June 6, 2013 at 6:17 pm

Like doing what?


Ben June 3, 2013 at 7:04 pm

What about other countries that do the exact same thing like our "alley" Israel?


hibeam June 3, 2013 at 10:18 pm

Like Gasoline Alley?


Menzie June 5, 2013 at 3:51 am

No I think he means he likes it in his alley.


Stephen June 3, 2013 at 7:10 pm

The most powerful defense tool is our oponents imagination, from a large situ to a personal altercation, we need to make lots of fake software available (to be hacked) so they don't know what is good software (or power network or whatever) they then will have doubt which feeds the imagination… think about it…


Bruce June 3, 2013 at 10:31 pm

That's probably a lot more work than securing the existing software. They would most likely be able to inspect the code for defects a lot more easily than highly complex condition-based errors could be inserted.


Ricky June 3, 2013 at 7:54 pm

Feed them starships and mechas.


Phono June 4, 2013 at 5:30 am

You probably take China for Japan ;)


shawn1999 June 4, 2013 at 8:30 am

Na, Japan knows its not real and is working to create it. China just copies what they see for cheaper.


Sugar Daddy June 3, 2013 at 10:02 pm

This is horrible news. Knowing china they will probably help other enemies of the United States initiate their own attacks against us as well


Sugar Daddy June 3, 2013 at 10:02 pm
hibeam June 3, 2013 at 10:16 pm

I guess the Chinese did not take note of the red line in Syria.


Lance June 3, 2013 at 11:37 pm

With this and China's South China Sea grab thing look bad with the PRC. But Obama wants us to have them in our joint military exercises and get money from them go fig.


Phono June 4, 2013 at 5:24 am

It's a communist leadership in a country with an overwhelming national tradition. They are able to carry out resolute self-centered policies on a hughe scale.

In my opinion, chinese hacking-activity is driven by masterplan, that is probably not to threaten or harm the U.S., but to establish China at the very top of the world.


Tony C. June 4, 2013 at 7:47 am

Counter strike is the answer that all will understand.


Restore Palestine June 7, 2013 at 12:54 am

How do you counter strike false flag ops?


Elijah June 4, 2013 at 2:42 pm

Here Am I. You know who I am and what I am trying to do. We, The People of The United States are tired of other countries hacking into us. The web was developed by The United States and released to the world for the benefit of mankind. Now certain countries are using it to rob the citizens of this country. They are using the on-line education programs offered by our universities to do it. Teach the wrong person to fish and he will come back with his terrorist group and take your pole, boat, bait, then run you away from the water.


blight_ June 4, 2013 at 4:57 pm

"They are using the on-line education programs offered by our universities to do it. "

The courses offered online aren't always to the same quality as a physical class; though there are some courses that are usually online+offline that are packaged as same homework as offline, access to recorded lectures of offline, and proctored testing of offline tests. Unless you're thinking of something like Coursera…and I doubt that's the end of the world.


Menzie June 5, 2013 at 3:48 am

Cut them off from our internet. No traffic from China or its "client states" goes through the US. If that is not possible then make it possible. Cut fiber optic lines that are the property of the US that go into China. They may be able to get around it but the speed and quantity of data will be severely limited. Shove dial up down their throat. Then send them the long distance bill.


USS ENTERPRISE June 5, 2013 at 5:58 pm

….China already cuts off its population from much of the internet. And besides, Google would be upset.


Dfens June 5, 2013 at 4:14 pm

F that 3rd world puke hole and all the people that live there. Quit doing business with them. Stop all communications with them. Quit sending them all our jobs and industries. What the hell kind of country is this that we haven't already done that?


USS ENTERPRISE June 5, 2013 at 5:59 pm

Sadly, Obama doesn't realize that that would work. Cut off everything, and China falls by middle of next week, at best.


Restore Palestine June 6, 2013 at 2:37 am

First off, you have shown yourself to be easily manipulated by propaganda, no matter how inanely manufactured. Second, are we supposed to believe you would actually practice what you preach? Try living without a single made-in-China item for a month. Don' t use any desktops, laptops, tablets (ipad included), internet related hardware and software that are made in China. Do it. See what happens.


Vincent Sr June 5, 2013 at 8:53 pm

C'mon China, get your act together and put those criminals behind bars and stop your cyber attacks on the USA. We saved your behinds from being taken over by Imperial Japan in WWII. Much of your technology came from the USA. I'll bet most of your computer systems are running Microsoft or UNIX products operating systems, and most of your processors are Intel or AMD. It hasn't been that long that you forget that Americans fought and died for your country's freedom…


Benny June 6, 2013 at 1:23 pm

The solution is SIMPLE!! No computer with such information needs to be hooked up to the web. PERIOD. Stand alone in house system, nothing gets out. Also, NO, IREPEAT NO computer parts made in China or other foreign country. BUY US AND US ALONE. Are you IT security people STUPID????


OD375 June 6, 2013 at 1:24 pm

Picture caption, the SecDef says to PLA general Xu Tou Che, "Keep up the cyber attack stuff, it's working. Your pack of American T-bills will be in your hands by tonight. The Pres give his regards".


Benny June 6, 2013 at 1:37 pm

Come on guys. The solution is SIMPLE. No computer with secure information should be hooked up to the web PERIOD. Everything should be on stand alone in house systems. Also, NO, I REPEAT NO computer parts made in any foreign country. US and US alone parts. Are you It security people STUPID? .


Restore Palestine June 6, 2013 at 6:18 pm

Very funny.


U.S.A June 6, 2013 at 9:41 pm

i kind of agree with you on that one benny.


Restore Palestine June 6, 2013 at 6:15 pm

Your "knowledge of economics and finance"??? You mean like "borrow, spend, borrow more, spend more, then default"?? HaHaHa. I guess you have your own deadbeat definitions for words "knowledge", "economics", and "finance" then. The real world and real economics don't revolve around deadbeat tricks and prayers for free lunches.

I suggest that next time you brag, throw in a couple of PhD's on your resume. It will make your post more entertaining.


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