back to article China hacks 'everything that doesn't move' says Hilary Clinton

Former US secretary of state and now presidential candidate Hilary Clinton has accused China of aggressive, state-sponsored hacking aimed at stealing both state and trade secrets. In widely-reported remarks made at a campaign event in New Hampshire, Clinton said China is “ ... trying to hack into everything that doesn't move …

  1. Mark 85 Silver badge

    Is there a definition?

    China's gone beyond the bounds of acceptable behaviour in its online espionage efforts.

    What are "the bounds of acceptable behavior" in spying and espionage? And what gives us the right to take the high ground when if there's a chance, we'd do the same thing to them? And by "us" I'm including all the "5-Eyes".

    I hate to tell our politicians this, but it's a brave new world out there on the internet and if one side hasn't been playing nice, there's no reason to expect anyone else to play nice... reaping what you sow and all that.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Is there a definition?

      Yes the following is in bounds

      - hacking into your trusted allies to ensure that your national companies have economic advantage

      - eavesdropping on your most reliable allies

      - threatening and blackmailing key personnel of allies to line up with your political ends

      - DDoSing small countries who defy you

      - randomly accuse other nations of being wicked

      Out of bounds

      - any of the above when done to you.

      The problem with people who believe in "manifest destiny" is that they have their sense of reality warped. However, believing in "to unto others as they would do unto you, but do it first" are much less hypocritical.

      1. SuccessCase

        Re: Is there a definition?

        And anyway, all you have to do is use your laptop whilst circling round the office on a golf cart, and you will be safe from the Chinese hackers... apparently.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Is there a definition?

        You forgot deploying dangerous payloads that damage industrial control systems. That's all good too.

    2. Naselus

      Re: Is there a definition?

      "What are "the bounds of acceptable behavior" in spying and espionage?"

      Funnily enough, there sort of is an 'acceptable' level of spying - for example, that Russian spy ring from a few years back. They were engaged in an acceptable level of spying, in that they had little access to any privileged information and mostly reported back dull cultural crap of next to no political use. This is why, when they were kicked out of the US, that was pretty much as far as the matter went. During the Cold War, both sides kept fairly long lists of known enemy agents who could be kicked out for diplomatic purposes - they even selected a certain number depending on how 'offended' they were by whatever was provoking the kicking-out.

      It would be incredibly rude not to do any spying on another country; that would basically be tantamount to saying 'you're not relevant enough for us to bother checking up on you'.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Ireland doesn't spy on anyone

        Unless they've agreed to it in the small print of the license for an Irish pub. Locations without pubs are never visited by Irish spies.

  2. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Holmes

    She also used to funnel arms to Lybian and Syrian "rebels"

    Please don't give that attention-seeking psychopath any additional publicity.

    Ignore, hide.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: She also used to funnel arms to Lybian and Syrian "rebels"

      Hmm. Whatever you might think of the funding, or those funded, or the results thereof, I'm pretty sure that _rebels_ doesn't need to be in quotation marks. They were, and/or are, still rebelling (even those Libyan ones who are now a government of sorts in whichever bit of Libya they control, rebelled once).

  3. Charles Manning

    Next election theme already identified

    The US presidential race seems to swing like a pendulum. And, like a pendulum, it's predictable.

    At the one end is the "yes we can"/"hope" stuff that Obama sold so well.

    At the other end is "they're against us"/"us or them" and beating of war/defense drums.

    Typically these are reasonably split Democrat vs Republican.

    We've had the "yes we can" years and are now moving well into the "us or them" side.

    Clinton is showing her flexibility that has kept her going so long. She's not shy of heading into the typically Republican realm to keep her in play for the next elections. Sure, she's been talking it up with the heavy liberals, but she knows she will have to come across as a really tough to get the swing vote.

    1. mhenriday
      Unhappy

      Re: Next election theme already identified

      Not, to my mind, so much a confrontation between selling (false) «Hope» on the one hand, and (equally false) paranoia on the other. Rather, the Republican contenders for their party's nomination seem to be running on platforms of «war with Russia first», while Ms Clinton is pushing «war with China first». Thus, US voters will be granted a familiar choice, between war and war. Plus ça change ...

      Henri

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Next election theme already identified

      At the other end is "they're against us"/"us or them" and beating of war/defense drums.

      Typically these are reasonably split Democrat vs Republican.

      You need to take a closer look at the Bill Clinton administration. Bill Clinton sent more U.S. troops into more countries than any president since WWII. It was something like, during one time period he sent U.S. troops into a new country every nine weeks for a grand total of 21 countries. There was a real uptick military activity during his impeachment. What made it entertaining is that while WH press briefings always discussed these actions, the press rarely discussed it because painting a Democrat as a war-mongerer breaks viewers expectations and so results in decreased viewership (hint: media psychology is fun and profitable).

      There's an old saying, Republicans want a large army and want to send it few places, Democrats want a small army and want to send it every place.

  4. Nolveys Silver badge
    Alert

    That Must Be Where All Those Emails Went!

    It was those wascally Chinese!

  5. iLuddite

    Brazen campaigns well.

  6. RIBrsiq
    Black Helicopters

    The NSA hacks everything regardless of its state of motion or geopolitical location. There's a big difference.

  7. thx1138v2

    That sounds like a cover story for her selling access to government systems to me. The dog didn't eat the F-35 plans, the Chinese hacked the system - while all the while the access they gained or the plans they got were via the diplomatic pouch while she was Secretary of State and her husband was collecting speaking fees.

    Bill was President, she was First Lady, Leon Panetta was White House chief-of-staff, and Gary Locke, who has family ties in China, was a Democratic campaign contribution bundler back in the 90's when the Clinton administration arranged the sale of U.S. long range missile guidance technology to China.

    The China Connection Is the Real Scandal

    http://www.eagleforum.org/psr/...

    Deception - How Clinton Sold Out America To The Chinese Military by Charles R Smith.

    http://www.amazon.com/Deceptio...

    Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State, Leon Panetta was Secretary of Defense, and Gary Locke was the U.S. Ambassador to China when they got the plans for the F-35. So did they hack the government contractor's system or did they get the plans or system access via the diplomatic pouch?

    Gary Locke was still the U.S. Ambassador to China when the Chinese got into the U.S. Office of Personnel Management computer and pilfered data for a year or better.

    That's way too much coincidence to be believable. Lord only knows what else they've sold. A back door to the NSA maybe?

    So Hillary says, Yep, it's those dang Chinese hackers.

    1. tfewster Silver badge
      Facepalm

      @thx1138v2 - Just curious

      Why would the plans for the F-35 have been sent to the U.S. Embassy in China, or the Ambassador? It also seems unlikely that overseas staff would given access to back doors, though they may need some front door access to information relevant to their region from the OPM or NSA.

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: @thx1138v2 - Just curious

        >Why would the plans for the F-35 have been sent to the U.S. Embassy in China,

        To cripple the Chinese airforce and economy?

      2. Twilight Turtle

        Re: @thx1138v2 - Just curious

        I read them as two distinct things, but I've not had enough coffee yet. Pretty sure the Snowden disclosures fingered the Pentagon as the most likely source of the loss of the F-35 plans. That or one of the myriad of defence contractors involved in it who have been compromised over the years.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Bill was President, she was First Lady, Leon Panetta was White House chief-of-staff, and Gary Locke, who has family ties in China, was a Democratic campaign contribution bundler back in the 90's when the Clinton administration arranged the sale of U.S. long range missile guidance technology to China.

      The China Connection Is the Real Scandal

      Deception - How Clinton Sold Out America To The Chinese Military by Charles R Smith.

      My uncle worked for Grumman Aerospace in 1993 working on military airplanes, weapons, and secret stuff that the public was not supposed to know Grumman was building. Once he and his crew were working on a super-uber secret codenamed project in a secure aircraft hanger when a Dem politician walked in, with about a dozen Chinese nationals all wearing diplomatic badges - a wildass violation of security. The Grumman workers got upset, my Uncle got upset - this was a blantant violation of national security. The smiling Dem politician assured everyone that this "tour" had been arranged "at the highest level". Eventually the Chinese left over the uproar, only to return near end-of-shift to resume their tour.

      The official word was that it had been approved by POTUS Clinton. It was a huge big deal in the NYC area and was in the news everywhere. The national media, of course, were all sad tools in the Dem's pocket and couldn't give a damn.

  8. Kharkov
    Holmes

    Damn anyone who... does what we do...

    So America hacks/observes/spies on... and it's vital that they do so, to preserve freedom, justice and the American Way! And for Kowalski and his little dog!

    China does the same thing... and they're nosy parkers who can't mind their own business, untrustworthy scoundrels every man-jack of them.

    I wonder, is there a Chinese-language version of El Reg? And is there a similar post (possibly by 夫戰役) where the above freedom, justice etc and nosy parker reasons from above are reversed?

    Or could we either A: Accept that this is what advanced countries do and not get worked up about it, or B: State that no country should be doing this. While you can't really stop ANOTHER country from spying/hacking etc, Americans can certainly stop their own government from spying!

    1. LaeMing Silver badge

      Re: Damn anyone who... does what we do...

      Or C: we could stop people in sensitive positions running their own poorly-maintained servers from home. and take our own security measures seriously!

    2. Captain DaFt

      Re: Damn anyone who... does what we do...

      "So America hacks/observes/spies on... and it's vital that they do so"

      "Because if we don't do it, the bad guys will!", shouted every Government, ever.

      Same rational used to light up the first A-bomb, even though their best calculations at the time showed a 25% chance of igniting the atmosphere, and turning the whole world into a glowing cinder.

      (Fortunately, they were wrong.)

    3. AbelSoul
      Flame

      Re: Damn anyone who... does what we do...

      Couldn't mark her neck with a blow torch.

  9. Spaceman Spiff

    This is a classic case of the pot calling the kettle black. We hack everything, and claim it is in our own best interests. If we can then Russia, China, and others can as well. Hillary, don't be a hypocrite!

    1. Queasy Rider

      You took the words right out of my mouth. Have an up vote.

  10. tom dial Silver badge

    It is quite incorrect to suppose that the Chinese, Russians, Japanese, French, Germans, and others do not engage in signals intelligence to the full extent of their capabilities and interests. Hacking the internet and internet attache devices is a quite natural extension of signals intelligence activities targeting radio and wireline telecommunications that significant international actors have engaged in for at least the last 75 years. And those signals intelligence activities extend and supplement intelligence activities that go back for at least three or four centuries more to the earliest days of anything that could reasonably be considered a nation-state.

    Ms. Clinton's reported statements suggest that she is either naive about the way governments behave or has judged rather cynically, but probably correctly, that US voters are clueless about that.

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Ms. Clinton's reported statements suggest that she is either naive about the way governments behave or has judged rather cynically, but probably correctly, that US voters are clueless about that.

      I tend to believe it's the later part about the voters. During the Snowden affair, it seems many readers would look, maybe read a bit and then... "oh.. the Kartrashians are on vacation. I must go see" <click>

      Somehow, either by plan or just sheer folly, American voters have been dumbed down. I've worked with some high ups in the company (almost C-Suiters) who's main source of news is.... ready for this..... People Magazine. Even Fox would have been a better choice.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    She's not quite right though

    I doubt that the Chinese are restricting their hackery only to stationary objects.

  12. knarf

    Pot Kettle .....

    The US of A is not really pure white in this regard, there is a war going on, a Cold Electron War.

  13. FrogInABlender

    Perhaps she can ask the Chinese for copies of her emails 'lost' from her personal email server while she was SecState ?!

    1. Queasy Rider

      Good one, nyuk, nyuk, nyuk.

  14. Brock Knudsen

    We can't stop them, but we can shake our fist at them

    As per everything in War, be it with weapons, economy, cyber, espionage etc. If they were able to stop it they wouldn't need to be complaining about it.

    Sad fact is that the East is way ahead of the West in cyber warfare, and unlikely to ever let the West catch up.

    When China starts setting their policy by the speeches of wannabe presidents I will eat my hat.

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