Stories of the Chinese government hacking very sensitive United States government websites is sadly nothing new. For some reason, the U.S. is determined to look the other way when faced with breaches and attempted breaches of sensitive servers of military contractors and other governmental agencies. This week the latest episode of Chinese hacking came to light, that of the United States Postal Service. The Washington Post reports:
Chinese government hackers are suspected of breaching the computer networks of the United States Postal Service, compromising the data of more than 800,000 employees — including the postmaster general’s.
The intrusion was discovered in mid-September, said officials, who declined to comment on who was thought to be responsible. The FBI is leading the investigation into the hack.
Simultaneous to this announcement of the hack is President Obama’s state visit to China. While the hacking was announced in the last few days, it was discovered, as reported by the Post, back in mid-September, which would have given the White House enough time to replan the state visit, or at least its optics. Instead, it seems, the White House went full-steam ahead, with a visit that had more pomp than that of the 2008 Beijing Olympics. ABC News explains just how elaborate the proceedings were:
If you thought the 2008 Olympic opening games were impressive, wait until you see this.
The arrival ceremony for global leaders at the APEC Summit dinner in Beijing was like no red carpet you’ve ever seen before.
Elaborately, brightly costumed performers danced in unison with music blaring as limos drove down a street lit up in bright neon red.
It was a show reminiscent of “The Hunger Games.”
Wait until you see what President Obama and the other leaders were wearing: matching head-to-toe black with silk jackets of different colors (Obama was in a deep purple). It was a club look rarely seen on international leaders.
The Chinese government and its members were rewarded with photo-ops like this for hacking the information of government employees, which could, according to the Post “help them with on-the-ground operations.” There is no better visual representation of how little U.S. power is, or should be, respected than the above photo of Obama and the Chinese President.
What consequences should there be for Chinese hacking?