United States presidential candidate Donald Trump has questioned whether the Democratic National Committee was hacked by Russia, advancing theories that China or “someone sitting on their bed who weighs 400 pounds” may have pulled off the hack that saw numerous campaign documents leaked to the world.
Trump made the remarks during the first debate between himself and Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, who was the first to answer a question from moderator Lester Holt who said “We are under cyber attack” and then asked “Who is behind it and how do we stop it?”
Clinton's response was that “We are facing two types of adversaries” online. She characterised one of those adversaries as “commercial hacking groups who aim to make money”. The second is nation states, “most recently, Russia.”
“There is no doubt Russia has used cyber attacks on other nations,” Clinton said. “[Russian president Vladimir] Putin has let loose cyber attackers to attack governments, individuals, the DNC.”
“We have recently learned this is one of their preferred methods of wreaking havoc and collecting information.”
Clinton then went on to repeat president Obama's recent assertion that the USA has un-matched online military capabilities and added that “we are not going to sit idly by and let state actors go after private or public sector information.” Clinton added that she hopes the technology industry can assist with efforts to defend the USA online.
“We are going to have to make clear clear we do not want to use the tools we have, we do not want a different type of war.” Clinton continued by suggesting her policies have been endorsed by senior military figures.
Trump was then given two minutes to address the question and opened with lengthy mention of military figures endorsing his campaign.
He then said “As far as the cyber I agree, we should be better than anyone else, perhaps we are not.”
“It might not have been Russia who broke into the DNC. It could be someone sitting on their bed who weighs 400 pounds.”
“Whether it was Russia, it was China, we don't know, because under president Obama we have lost control of things. We came up with the Internet, but when you look at what ISIS is doing on the internet they are beating us.”
“We have to get very very tough on cyber warfare.”
“There are so many things we have to do better at and cyber is one of them.”
The remarks reported above were among a very few touching on matters technological. Sections of the debate on how to restore manufacturing jobs to the USA focussed on air conditioners and cars, with Trump mentioning a plan to compel US companies to pay import duties but not name-checking Apple as a company he thinks should manufacture more in the USA as he's done before.
Trump attacked Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server. Clinton admitted running that server was a mistake. Trump later argued that he will release more tax records when Clinton releases the 33,000 emails deleted from her private server. Trump also declared himself "smart" for finding ways to pay no federal taxes. ®