Hacking by China not necessarily a "hostile act"
February 14th, 2012
01:38 PM ET

Hacking by China not necessarily a "hostile act"

By Adam Levine

The U.S. top military officer said should China's military be found to be behind hacks into the U.S. infrastructure, it would not necessarily be a "hostile act."

Gen. Martin Dempsey, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said he "believe(s) someone in China is hacking into our systems and stealing technology and intellectual property which at this point is a crime."

But Dempsey told the Senate Armed Services Committee where he was testifying that he cannot attribute the Chinese hacking to China's military, the People's Liberation Army.

Asked by Republican Senator Lindsey Graham from South Carolina if it could be proven that the PLA was behind a hacking of the defense infrastructure, would it be considered a "hostile act," Dempsey said it wasn't necessarily.

"I would consider it a crime," Dempsey said. Asked what he would consider a hostile act, Dempsey said "attacking our critical infrastructure" would be a act worthy of a similar response.

Graham noted he was about to lunch with the Vice President of China who is in the U.S. this week and asked Dempsey if there was anything he wanted to pass on to Xi Jinping.

"Happy Valentine's Day," Dempsey replied.

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Filed under: China • Congress • Cybersecurity • Dempsey • Military
soundoff (8 Responses)
  1. Lord Haw-Haw

    "Hacking by China not necessarily a hostile act". Now there's a headline you wouldn't see if it were to pertain to Iran.

    Such hypocrisy.

    February 14, 2012 at 4:00 pm | Reply

    hmm, in d US every body is suspect

    February 14, 2012 at 3:18 pm | Reply
  3. GoodOrevilwhoDecsides

    If us citizens hack into any form of company they goto jail cause its a crime. China because even though or because they have got money get away without even a fine? And this is the justice system that we are supposed to pledge allegance and die for?

    February 14, 2012 at 3:04 pm | Reply
    • sms2492

      Couldn't agree more with you .

      February 14, 2012 at 3:21 pm | Reply
  4. will laing

    from far away in australia i dont no why america let china manipulate there currency hack into your computers it is well known they stole nuclear device w88 they will catch up they have had a great run they have balls as big as planets ill give them that

    February 14, 2012 at 2:54 pm | Reply

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