China Hacks America While U.S. Considers Making It An Act Of War



People who work at the White House were among those targeted by the China-based hackers who broke into Google Inc.’s Gmail accounts, according to one U.S. official. U.S. officials briefed on the incident said the Obama administration isn’t going to raise the matter directly with the Chinese government until the facts become more clear. Source: WSJ

Google has said that the accounts of several hundred politicians, military personnel, journalists and Chinese political activists have been breached. The attack was linked to Jinan, China, the home city of a military vocational school whose computers were linked to an assault 17 months ago on Google’s systems. “We do know that it was very organised and the attack came from China and political dissidents and people interested in human rights in China were clearly targeted” said Google’s senior vice president of corporate development. The U.S. Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, said that Google’s claims were very serious and that the U.S. was looking into them and the FBI was taking the lead.

China of course is the most friendly and innocent nation on earth and according to their representatives China does not condone nor allow hacking. “Blaming these misdeeds on China is unacceptable,” said Hong Lei, a foreign ministry spokesman, at the ministry’s regular press conference. Google has said that it will be taking steps to uncensor its Chinese services since it is being used to spy on political dissidents. Sources: ABC News,

The United States and many of its major defense contractors have come under attack recently by sources within China in an effort to steal sensitive information. China is infamous for its illegal cyber activity and it seems like the United States has had enough of their games. The Pentagon is trying to create a formal strategy to deal with cyber threats and ways to deter potential attackers. Sources close to the think tank say that the Pentagon and the Obama administration are looking to make certain computer attacks an act of war that would result in military action. Just yesterday Google suffered an attack from China that targeted high level politicians, military personnel, Chinese political activists and journalists.

The head of the United States Strategic Command, Gen. Kevin P. Chilton, told reporters that in the event of a cyberattack “the law of armed conflict will apply,” and warned that “I don’t think you take anything off the table” in considering a response. “Why would we constrain ourselves?” he asked, according to an article about his comments that appeared in Stars and Stripes.

Some of the main questions surrounding how to deal with a cyber attack is how do we know who is doing it and when do we know we are at war? In the plan that the Pentagon is considering a military action would be a ‘last resort’ option and only if they had credible evidence of the source country. “One of the questions we have to ask is, How do we know we’re at war?” one former Pentagon official said. “How do we know when it’s a hacker and when it’s the People’s Liberation Army?”

In an age where literally billions of dollars are being spent on cyber defense it was only a matter of time before an active deterrence policy was put in place at the Pentagon. This isn’t the age of armed nuclear missiles but rather who has the best supercomputers and safeguards. The United States’ response to recent cyber attacks has literally been nothing and while they know who is doing it, no one knew how to deal with it. Hackings of private corporations won’t constitute an act of war according to this new policy being considered but a range of responses, including military, will be dished out for attacks that cause equal damage as an actual military attack. For example if the Chinese hacked and destroyed one of our power grids then we could blow up one of their power plants.

The plan right now is more bark than bite and it will take use of said plan to ensure that it deters future attacks. In the 50′s and 60′s just the thought of an attack or retaliatory attack kept war from breaking out but in the age of anonymity it will take a heavy response to prevent future attacks.

Hacked in the last week by China,

  1. Google
  2. Lockheed Martin
  3. L-3 Communications
  4. Northrop Grumman
  5. My Bloggity Blog

Should cyber attacks be considered an act of war?

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Source: NYT Source: The Register Source: EWeek


Author: James

I am the owner and main author of My Bloggity Blog. I started this blog on a whim and it grew faster than I ever imagined. I seriously enjoy debating politics and foreign policy as I'm sure you've noticed but I also enjoy a wide array of other things that I try to include here.

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  • Cora

    Congrats on being hacked by China. I am sure it was a horrible experience but you must be doing something right to piss off the Chinese communists so much.

    • Owner

      Thank you! I take it as a compliment of sorts considering they targeted a small blog like mine.

  • Poppy

    I guess it depends if we can identify with certinaty where the attack originated from.  It would be easy for Chinese nationals opposed to their government to launch a war-game that might not be originated from the Chinese government itself.  On the other hand those mofo's can't be trusted.  I'd be concerned a fake attack would be launched and be used to incite a war. This can also be just an American government ploy to have an "excuse" to pull our Internet plug and impose more restrictions on us.

    • Owner

      I think that since it is being leaked that the Pentagon is finally crafting a response to hacking, that they have a way to pinpoint who is doing it. Currently corporations and government agencies have been able to trace hacks back to China and state owned corporations and I'm sure the Penatgon with all of its supercomputers can get a bit more accurate than that. It is a good thing that they're also only going to deliver a military blow IF the attack causes as much damage as a real military attack so a fake attack probably won't prompt much of a response if any. It wouldn't shock me if at somepoint the government uses it as an excuse to limit our Internet or kill our access but I think that would be the straw that broke the camels back and throws us into revolution.