China: All your secret are belong to us

We all know that China has trouble coming up with original ideas that don't involve oppression, but who knew that their blatant copying and bootlegging had gotten this bad? Richard Clarke, a former cybersecurity advisor who served under Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush told the Smithsonian that China has hacked into every major American company to steal their R&D.

Clarke, who runs a cybersecurity firm called Good Harbor nowadays, has been spreading some really interesting ideas to promote his new book, Cyber War. In the book, Clarke paints a pretty startling picture of the future of warfare and modern cybersecurity issues, like the Stuxnet worm.

“I'm about to say something that people think is an exaggeration, but I think the evidence is pretty strong: every major company in the United States has already been penetrated by China,” Clarke told The Smithsonian. It's the same with Britain, too. The really scary part is that it's not just consumer goods that they're targeting, but even military manufacturer. Chinese hackers already have information on the US' next generation fighter bomber, the F-35.

Even worse, important systems could easily be compromised by trojans and backdoors built into their Chinese components. “My greatest fear is that, rather than having a cyber-Pearl Harbor event, we will instead have this death of a thousand cuts. Where we lose our competitiveness by having all of our R&D stolen by the Chinese. And we never really see this single event that makes us do something about it.”

So, what do we do? Is it already too late? Clarke doesn't offer much in the way of solutions in the interview, other than noting that US cybersystems has strong offensive systems and a weak defensive structure. This is a man who knows what he's talking about (back in 2001, he tried – and failed – to warn the government that Al-Qaeda was planning a major attack on American soil), so it is worth listening to what he's got to say, even if he is trying to sell a book.

The Smithsonian sums up their interview pretty nicely:

[We] left Clarke's office feeling that we are at a moment very much like the summer of 2001, when Clarke made his last dire warning. “A couple hundred people have labelled me as Cassandra,” Clarke says. “And I've gone back and read my mythology about Cassandra. And the way I read the mythology, it's pretty clear that Cassandra was right.”

Maybe it's about time the US government starts worrying about the threats other countries pose to it, and less about taking care of dinosaur industries that can't get people to keep them alive. 

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I am thoroughly disappointed by the poor quality of this "article" even from the first sentence. It's practically libel and scaremongering in bad taste, rather than objective and informative.

Also, people in the comments, you sound like a broken record. "They stole all our jobs and are the cause of our debt", "all the stuff they make is sh*t", "a war will solve all these problems". Seriously, grow up.

Why the **** is everyone suggesting that there is going to be a war? Are you guys f*cking stupid? A war isn't going to benefit anyone, not US, not China, not anyone in the world.

And if China does overtake the US in certain aspects, so be it! The US isn't the only country in the world.

they seem to miss the point entirely, yes its bad if they have managed to steal sensitive information, but the issue at hands is they were ABLE to.

so US never spies on anyone? you only know the other party has all your secrets, is when you have all the secrets of the other party; its only fair game

China stealing tech? Why would they need to "steal" it? They don't have too. The US and Britain is giving them all the tech by moving all the production houses to China.

What makes me really laugh is the fact that mission critical RnD data is kept on computers that are connected to the net it really is foolish... Also the fact that alot of microchip manufacturing is farmed out to places like China, who needs to hack a computer when you hand it to them on a silver platter.... You'd think if it was that important then should it not have been made in the USofA

Clarke, who runs a cybersecurity firm called Good Harbor nowadays, has been spreading some really interesting ideas to promote his new book, Cyber War

I stopped reading here, he's just promoting his new book by creating fear!

Everyone quick hide under your beds.. The chinese are coming for you and your families.. Please part with your money and send it to "Good Harbor" .

Good way for Richard Clarke to rip a few millions from the american taxpayer. I stopped reading the article and directly went to the comments when I read the first line of propoganda - "We all know that China has trouble coming up with original ideas that don't involve oppression".

tmaxxtigger said,

I stopped reading here, he's just promoting his new book by creating fear!

How many high profile Chinese hacks have we read about on Neowin alone? I see your point, but this is clearly a problem. All you have to do is read the news to see it...

"Maybe it's about time the US government starts worrying about the threats other countries pose to it, and less about taking care of dinosaur industries that can't get people to keep them alive."

Not going to appen with the guy we have in office now. Too busy saying I'm sorry to everyone...

This is nothing more than fear-mongering. Expect much more propaganda like this in the future. The war in Iraq is over, Afghanistan is drawing down, the war profiteers are watching their numbers fall. They need a new one to extort the American taxpayers.

oh i wouldn't be worried. there is "engrish" to be dealt with on their end. just about now they may be hopelessly lost in translation.

Whatever small the "hole" is, we'll find it with our small ocular powaz!
"...United States has already been penetrated by China".

Sorry about your taste, but thats damn funny.

it was meant to be rhetorical.

P1R4T3 said,
Whatever small the "hole" is, we'll find it with our small ocular powaz!
"...United States has already been penetrated by China".

Sorry about your taste, but thats damn funny.

ever wondered if this was purposely designed and planned like this? there is no point in getting hysterical about this just open up your eyes, mind and imagination. i really feel that this would be or become like a war that we are accustomed to but more on the technological side. it is pointless in canceling or eradicating a huge population because the costs would be astronomical, instead get control of all vital hardware and systems to hinder them useless but enabling them all once one obtains and establishes dominance. sound like science fiction but yet we continue to expand and connect. it is like a virus. we are more and more in this direction then we would ever admit but why fight it, embrace it to build a better society as a whole and evolve or better yet read a good book.

It's frustrating, almost laughable, how everyone in the US hates China for what it does and how it's advancing further than the US.
And its getting to the point where it isn't simple annoyance anymore, it's outright racism.
"Oh, it's Chinese, don't get it." "Oh, he's Chinese, don't trust him." blah blah blah
If it's such a big problem then deal with it. It's YOUR fault you owe almost all your debt to China, Japan, UK, Brazil, etc., not their fault. Do something about it instead of just complaining.
And to Chinese hackers and KIRFers:
Please stop, you're making Chinese all over the world look bad with your petty little acts.
And you're a disgrace to the legacies (inventions) Ancient China left behind.

Edited by Vincent Lee, Mar 28 2012, 4:19am :

here, here...

Vincent Lee said,
It's frustrating, almost laughable, how everyone in the US hates China for what it does and how it's advancing further than the US.
And its getting to the point where it isn't simple annoyance anymore, it's outright racism.
"Oh, it's Chinese, don't get it." "Oh, he's Chinese, don't trust him." blah blah blah
If it's such a big problem then deal with it. It's YOUR fault you owe almost all your debt to China, Japan, UK, Brazil, etc., not their fault. Do something about it instead of just complaining.
And to Chinese hackers and KIRFers:
Please stop, you're making Chinese all over the world look bad with your petty little acts.
And you're a disgrace to the legacies (inventions) Ancient China left behind.

Vincent Lee said,
It's frustrating, almost laughable, how everyone in the US hates China for what it does and how it's advancing further than the US.
And its getting to the point where it isn't simple annoyance anymore, it's outright racism.
"Oh, it's Chinese, don't get it." "Oh, he's Chinese, don't trust him." blah blah blah
If it's such a big problem then deal with it. It's YOUR fault you owe almost all your debt to China, Japan, UK, Brazil, etc., not their fault. Do something about it instead of just complaining.
And to Chinese hackers and KIRFers:
Please stop, you're making Chinese all over the world look bad with your petty little acts.
And you're a disgrace to the legacies (inventions) Ancient China left behind.

It seems that you are pretty uneducated on why people say it, so I'll educate you a little:
1) It's Chinese don't get it: Because the quality ****ing sucks
2) Over half our **** in the USA is made in China. Guess why people here don't have jobs [besides being lazy].
3) Its not my fault that my politicians spent this country into the ground, like the jackasses that they are. In matter of fact, I was born into a quite of bit of debt, not to mention by the time I was old enough to vote we were several trillion in debt.. People are trying to do something, but apparently a full armed revolution is what we need to do to get these pieces of **** out of office. There are no trustworthy politicians and Americans hopefully get off their asses soon enough.

If you can't tell, I hate politicians.
I love the price of goods due to mass production but I don't agree with purchasing imports because we screwed ourselves in the long run by sending most of our manufacturing outside of the US. That is my problem, and my family company tried to sell American made products, however we wouldn't have been able to stay in business if we sold American, because our competitors would have sold for lower, due to their decreased price of goods. Its a very crappy deal, and this is a very sensitive topic for me!

Edited by SpeedyTheSnail, Mar 28 2012, 6:58am :

Vincent Lee said,
It's frustrating, almost laughable, how everyone in the US hates China for what it does and how it's advancing further than the US.
And its getting to the point where it isn't simple annoyance anymore, it's outright racism.
"Oh, it's Chinese, don't get it." "Oh, he's Chinese, don't trust him." blah blah blah
If it's such a big problem then deal with it. It's YOUR fault you owe almost all your debt to China, Japan, UK, Brazil, etc., not their fault. Do something about it instead of just complaining.
And to Chinese hackers and KIRFers:
Please stop, you're making Chinese all over the world look bad with your petty little acts.
And you're a disgrace to the legacies (inventions) Ancient China left behind.

I agree with most of what you said, but do you honestly believe that these hacks are independent and not state supported? I think they're a little too high profile, don't you?

SpeedyTheSnail said,

I love the price of goods due to mass production but I don't agree with purchasing imports because we screwed ourselves in the long run by sending most of our manufacturing outside of the US. That is my problem, and my family company tried to sell American made products, however we wouldn't have been able to stay in business if we sold American, because our competitors would have sold for lower, due to their decreased price of goods. Its a very crappy deal, and this is a very sensitive topic for me!

Agreed. I wish more politicians understood that taxing business doesn't work. It drives these jobs overseas and increases the cost of services and goods made here. We shot ourselves in the foot by looking at business as a tax gravy train rather than the job creators that they are.

Vincent Lee said,

And its getting to the point where it isn't simple annoyance anymore, it's outright racism.

Don't confuse racism with prejudice.

it's funny how china was still considered the dark continent a mere 10-20 years ago. these days, if any reporter with questionable reputation mentioned that the chinese are so advanced that a single chinese fart is more toxin than sarin gas. will kill millions. i'll bet most american will believe it unconditionally.

Albert said,
it's funny how china was still considered the dark continent a mere 10-20 years ago. these days, if any reporter with questionable reputation mentioned that the chinese are so advanced that a single chinese fart is more toxin than sarin gas. will kill millions. i'll bet most american will believe it unconditionally.

Starting a war is the best option for China right now. If they don't do that the country will be ripped apart from it's own ppl anyway. The prices rise up, too much unemployment, ppl become unhappy with the regime. Protests and putsch attempts would be unavoidable. A war will redirect their ppl from those problems and unite them. We also seeing massive military build-up on both sides. If the war start, it will be on every fronts over the south-chinese sea, North Korea - Japan border, China-India border. It's sure a risky move but there's no doubt that's the big war is coming.

Start a war, and watch their exports dry up. Would be a great excuse for the US government to default on a trillion or so in debt owed to China.

I think there will be war eventually. People within the country are learning more and more about capitalism every day, and soon will revolt against communist rule. Hopefully then will the Republic of China (Taiwan) fully rejoin, and all Chinese political issues resolved, and China will become what the USA hoped it to become in its revolution so long ago.

rfirth said,
Start a war, and watch their exports dry up. Would be a great excuse for the US government to default on a trillion or so in debt owed to China.

Or China could call it in... Now that would be scary... Obama's bouncing checks as it is... LOL

To say that the Chinese had hacked and stolen all US consumer and military R&D is a little bit of a far fetch and fear mongering. The Chinese has taken everything, right. I'm sure if the Chinese are capable of doing that, they are also capable of coming up with their own design. After all, they did invent the printing press and gun powder (of which, ironically, the US citizens are beginning to lose both of those descendant rights through policies like the Patriot Act, future reincarnation of ACTA, and etc).

flexkeyboard said,
To say that the Chinese had hacked and stolen all US consumer and military R&D is a little bit of a far fetch and fear mongering. The Chinese has taken everything, right. I'm sure if the Chinese are capable of doing that, they are also capable of coming up with their own design. After all, they did invent the printing press and gun powder (of which, ironically, the US citizens are beginning to lose both of those descendant rights through policies like the Patriot Act, future reincarnation of ACTA, and etc).

China's hacking efforts are pretty well known. They were even able to get spy software running on the President's helicopter not long after Obama came into office...

M_Lyons10 said,

China's hacking efforts are pretty well known. They were even able to get spy software running on the President's helicopter not long after Obama came into office...

Say what?

It was about time that a country does that: go head to head with the US. It's just a matter of time before China overtakes the US in every aspect. We should not be shocked by what is happening. By the way, how much truth is there in this article!

Peter65 said,
It was about time that a country does that: go head to head with the US. It's just a matter of time before China overtakes the US in every aspect. We should not be shocked by what is happening. By the way, how much truth is there in this article!
And where do you come from?

rippleman said,
doesn't matter where he is from, it will happen unfortunately

Its not true. Look at the number of chinese immigrants to USA every year. have you thought about it? Cheating is not gonna end well. remember. government of china cheat all the time

S3P€hR said,

Its not true. Look at the number of chinese immigrants to USA every year. have you thought about it? Cheating is not gonna end well. remember. government of china cheat all the time

Your comment does not make sense, really.... did you know China has a population of over a billion? If only 0.5% OR less migrated to the US ... the US will be flooded with Chinese. What was your point again?

rippleman said,
doesn't matter where he is from, it will happen unfortunately

it will happen...unfortunately? Honestly I don't think it's a bad thing if China overtakes the US in certain aspects.

bjoswald said,
And yet our president would sell our land to them right out from under us.

That's free market capitalism for you.

bjoswald said,
And yet our president would sell our land to them right out from under us.

Exactly. We need someone strong, not a pansy like Obama.

rfirth said,

That's free market capitalism for you.

That doesn't make sense. The government selling land is not a function of the free market.

bguy_1986 said,

Free market capitalism??? that left when Obama got in office.

Oh no, don't tell me your one of those, "Obama's a socialist," guys... *rolls eyes.*


Most of them are for BC Era. those doesn't count. now they are just about copying and stealing other countries ideas and products. Chinese products and merchants are unreliable. Even their people are not happy with their country and the highest number of immigrant to western countries are Chinese. World should do something against Chinese government.

S3P€hR said,
the highest number of immigrant to western countries are Chinese. World should do something against Chinese government.

China has the largest population in the world, so if we are saying a proportion of each population will migrate somewhere else, then of course China will have the highest number.

S3P€hR said,

Most of them are for BC Era. those doesn't count. now they are just about copying and stealing other countries ideas and products. Chinese products and merchants are unreliable. Even their people are not happy with their country and the highest number of immigrant to western countries are Chinese. World should do something against Chinese government.

chinese immigrant?? have you sen Muslims immigrant in Europe and USA? not that i hate Muslims or nor I'm Chinese but but its just bad to blame others all the time. and what Chinese invented before BC do count don't make it a religion thingy its just as saying all Chinese medicines came from US.

ultimatescar said,

chinese immigrant?? have you sen Muslims immigrant in Europe and USA? not that i hate Muslims or nor I'm Chinese but but its just bad to blame others all the time. and what Chinese invented before BC do count don't make it a religion thingy its just as saying all Chinese medicines came from US.

ultimatescar said,

chinese immigrant?? have you sen Muslims immigrant in Europe and USA? not that i hate Muslims or nor I'm Chinese but but its just bad to blame others all the time. and what Chinese invented before BC do count don't make it a religion thingy its just as saying all Chinese medicines came from US.

lol, Chinese is not a religion, your statement makes no sense. There are Chinese who are muslims incase you didnt know.

KomaWeiss said,
Why is China going to steal our stuff for? they make crappy stuff anyways.

Ignoring for a moment that everything is made there, if they have our R&D and everything, I'm sure they would have no problem building it. I can only imagine where they got their technology for the airforce carrier they just built... lol

As much as I hate it I think within are life time US and China will be at war.. And two powers such as the US and China it can not end well.

i was living in central europe just after the fall of communism, just recently returned back home to the usa, this is the best history and education of my life. if other peoples' could have experienced and lived in this, they could begin to only half understand. i saw a lot of bad but i also saw a lot of good from all sides.

Vincent Lee said,
...if only the soviets didn't spread communism into China in the first place.
Stupid WWII/Cold War messed up everything.

Dusco25 said,
As much as I hate it I think within are life time US and China will be at war.. And two powers such as the US and China it can not end well.
War is really close my friend. It wont take long and Israel will attack Iran. And that will be the beginning of the end...

Dusco25 said,
As much as I hate it I think within are life time US and China will be at war.. And two powers such as the US and China it can not end well.

I agree.

Dusco25 said,
As much as I hate it I think within are life time US and China will be at war.. And two powers such as the US and China it can not end well.

you funny. a war between those two would be a joke and overhyped. US military is lightyears beyond China. Your not talking about sending troops to occupy your talking full flex sending missiles to destroy.. the world has never seen the US or Russia really stretch out their legs in that manner. As of yet it's always been a mission to land troops and secure an area <cough cough> oil. however if it went nuclear well then that's different;)

Are you telling me that this sucker is nuclear? No, no, no, no, no. This sucker's electrical. But I need a nuclear reaction to generate the 1.21 gigawatts of electricity I need