Biden Blames China for Microsoft Hack but His Response Is Inexcusable

AP Photo/Alex Brandon

The Biden administration today formally blamed China for the hack that took place in March of Microsoft Exchange servers and said the actions involved criminal hackers who have carried out other ransomware and cyber-attack operations as well, holding people up for millions of dollars. The U.K.’s National Cyber Security Centre said the groups also targeted maritime industries and naval defense contractors in the U.S. and Europe and the Finnish parliament, 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.”

So now that the Biden Administration has blamed China for these actions, what is Biden going to do about it?

The announcements, though not accompanied by sanctions against the Chinese government, were intended as a forceful condemnation of activities a senior Biden administration official described as part of a “pattern of irresponsible behavior in cyberspace.” They highlighted the ongoing threat from Chinese hackers even as the administration remains consumed with trying to curb ransomware attacks from Russia-based syndicates that have targeted critical infrastructure. [….]

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.

So to cut through the b.s., they’re arguing that it’s sufficient chastisement to have said this publicly. Are you kidding me? So just telling them we know is sufficient punishment? And calling it a “pattern of irresponsible behavior?” Irresponsible behavior is not wearing your seatbelt in the car. Hacking U.S. companies to mess with another country and to get ransom is a bit more than “irresponsible behavior” and should earn them some response.

Biden’s response to China is even lamer than his response to Russian ransomware groups’ multiple efforts to mess with our infrastructure. It took multiple attacks before he even warned Russia. Then, in that warning, he listed 16 things for them not to hit, which was like giving them a target list. Then, after that, we were hit by Russian criminals again in the biggest global attack ever  — some effective warning.

Listen as Biden says they’re still determining what happened but they’re only “protecting them” like what’s happening with the Russians.

Wait…what? He just said likely more than he intended to say. So he knows and now acknowledges that with both China and Russia that they’re protecting the criminals, but he’s still not taking any action at all against China, and just making a statement is sufficient? That only “protecting” them is somehow an excuse to not hold China responsible?

According to the AP, he did say that the investigation wasn’t finished. But if you’re going to go out and blame them, have no punishment, and say you think that issuing a weak statement publicly is enough, you might as well fold the tent now. What reason do they have to feel cowed at this point? There’s no real response.

Could he bend over anymore?