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Does anybody remember the bluster Joe Biden emitted when he ‘confronted Russian President Vladimir Putin’ over Russian hacking at his June 16 Geneva summit?
“I made it very clear to him that the United States expects, when a ransomware operation is coming from his soil even though it’s not sponsored by the state, we expect them to act if we give them enough information to act on who that is,” Biden told reporters.
Tough, tough, tough. And as far as public knowledge goes, it’s not completely certain that the Russian state even organized the Russian criminal hacks. But they were held responsible, and were given, according to AP, “a raft of sanctions.”
Now we see some even more disruptive hacking from China, the massive hack on the Microsoft Exchange email server software on Feb. 24, which opened the gates to hackers of all sorts getting into 30,000 U.S. businesses to steal passwords and conduct ransomware operations.
What’s Joe Biden’s response?
In a word, nothing.
It puzzled even the Associated Press:
Unlike in April, when public finger-pointing of Russian hacking was paired with a raft of sanctions against Moscow, the Biden administration did not announce any actions against Beijing.
President Joe Biden told reporters “the investigation’s not finished,” and White House press secretary Jen Psaki did not rule out future consequences for China, saying, “This is not the conclusion of our efforts as it relates to cyber activities with China or Russia.”
Well, unless there’s something we don’t know, the Russian one isn’t finished, either. But the Russkis got it in the teeth, and the Chicoms got off with a stern warning. Here’s how bad it was:
Nonetheless, a senior administration official who briefed reporters said that the U.S. has confronted senior Chinese officials and that the White House regards the multination shaming as sending an important message, even if no single action can change behavior.
Ah, shaming. As if China’s communist regime, which openly employs slave labor in Xinjiang, nakedly represses Hong Kong with goon squad activity, defies international law in the South China Sea, and has Hollywood, Big Sports and, possibly, the corporate media on its string, has any concern about “losing face” these days. ‘Hain’t we got the money?’
It also puzzled experts, such as Crowdstrike’s former chief technology officer, Dmitri Alperovich:
Given the scope of the attack, Alperovitch said it was “puzzling” that the U.S. did not impose sanctions.
“They certainly deserve it, and at this point, it’s becoming a glaring standout that we have not,” he said.
He added, in a reference to a large Russian cyberespionage operation discovered late last year, “There’s no question that the Exchange hacks have been more reckless, more dangerous and more disruptive than anything the Russians have done in SolarWinds.
It’s strange indeed that the Bidenites even revealed China’s involvement in the hack. Two reasons spring to mind as to why it was done.
One, U.S. allies already seem to have let the cat out of the bag.
According to AP:
The European Union and Britain were among the allies who called out China. The EU said malicious cyber activities with “significant effects” that targeted government institutions, political organizations and key industries in the bloc’s 27 member states could be linked to Chinese hacking groups. The U.K.’s National Cyber Security Centre said the groups targeted maritime industries and naval defense contractors in the U.S. and Europe and the Finnish parliament.
In a statement, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said the hacking was “conducted from the territory of China for the purpose of intellectual property theft and espionage.”
The Microsoft Exchange cyberattack “by Chinese state-backed groups was a reckless but familiar pattern of behaviour,” U.K. Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said.
NATO, in its first public condemnation of China for hacking activities, called on Beijing to uphold its international commitments and obligations “and to act responsibly in the international system, including in cyberspace.” The alliance said it was determined to “actively deter, defend against and counter the full spectrum of cyber threats.”
That left just Joe, whose minions announced that stern warning.
Two is that the fingerprints of the China state on the hack were a heckuva lot stronger than they were elsewhere, according to the AP report — Microsoft, for one, pinned it on them, and wouldn’t they know? There was other evidence in the report, too.
What we have here is actual cyber warfare targeting U.S. institutions. It’s quite likely the Russians are doing it, but it’s absolutely certain that the ChiComs are doing it, both with the same aim: To create chaos if not shut down the U.S., and instantly turn it into Haiti. They both know that the U.S. economy is the big vehicle for the U.S. military machine, and shutting it down from time to time, perhaps as dry runs for something truly catastrophic (they already can see that COVID makes our officials go nuts) is a possibility. What better than to shake money out of U.S. corporations through ransomware attacks that create uncertainty and decrease corporate profits? Who cares if the Americans have the best tech, the best management, the best-educated workforce in the world, and the most money if these state-sponsored cyber hacks done under cover of darkness can shut such entities down so that they can no longer operate? That seems to be the diabolic logic, and they’re getting away with it.
Biden would know this, and his lame excuse on China cyber hack, which doesn’t match his Russian response, looks a little funny.
Does China actually have something on Biden to explain his weak response? Is Hunter Biden’s China dealing, which as his laptop emails claimed, involved the chief of China’s intelligence, have an impact? It’s a question that seems reasonable, given the evidence of House Biden’s compromises, and all the money involved. There are also Biden’s allies, in Big Tech, the press, and beyond, who act a bit compromised on China’s money stream, too.
It looks funny, that’s all I am saying.