Fox Business host Lou Dobbs has suggested that the U.S. should go to war with China over hacking, claiming cyberattacks are no different to the Pearl Harbor military strike committed by the Japanese in 1941, in which over 2,300 military personnel died.
Dobbs wondered why war has not broken out between the two nations in the wake of the Justice Department announcing charges against two Chinese nationals for engaging in a hacking campaign to steal information from at least 45 U.S. technology companies and government agencies, including the NASA Goddard Space Center and Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
Zhu Hua and Zhang Shilong are also accused of hacking into more than 40 computers to steal personal information including names, social security numbers and email addresses, of more than 100,000 U.S. Navy personnel.
Speaking on the Lou Dobbs Tonight show on December 20, the host lamented how the U.S. has known about Chinese attempts to steal secret information for decades, noting how there are allegedly 3,500 companies in China whose sole purpose is cyberespionage, but “neither a Republican nor a Democratic presidential administration has done a damn thing about it,” reports Mediate. “Until now.”
Speaking to one of his guests, Dean Cheng, Heritage Foundation senior research fellow, Dobbs notes the U.S. has a right to protect itself from cyberespionage and cyberattacks.
“Hell, I can’t understand why we wouldn’t go to war over this kind of monstrous theft,” Dobbs said.
Another panel guest, cybersecurity expert Morgan Wright, said there are different “norms” of warfare, including in cyberspace, and the Chinese are violating “every single one of them.”
“Frankly, I don’t understand this,” Dobbs responds. “Absent [of] casualties, and that is killed and wounded, this is no different than Pearl Harbor. I mean, we are watching the destruction of hundreds of thousands, hundreds of millions and billions of dollars every year.”
The National Archives states that there were “3,435 casualties and loss of or severe damage to 188 planes, 8 battleships, 3 light cruisers, and 4 miscellaneous vessels” at Peral Harbor.
Neither Cheng nor Wright respond to Dobbs’s rhetoric, although Cheng described how Chinese hacking also has a major effect on businesses.
“How many companies have gone out of business because they have found that their intellectual property was being sold by the Chinese before they themselves could bring it to market? How many patents are being filed by the Chinese before their actual creators can file for the patent protection?”
In a statement announcing the charges against the Chinese nationals, FBI director Christopher A Wray said: “Healthy competition is good for the global economy, but criminal conduct is not. This is conduct that hurts American businesses, American jobs, and American consumers.
“No country should be able to flout the rule of law—so we’re going to keep calling out this behavior for what it is: illegal, unethical, and unfair. It’s going to take all of us working together to protect our economic security and our way of life, because the American people deserve no less,” said Wray.