Fiorina: Make cyber warfare 'very painful' for China

Fiorina: Make cyber warfare 'very painful' for China

GOP presidential hopeful Carly Fiorina is calling for the United States to make cyber conflict “very painful for the Chinese,” as the nation is blamed for more and more destructive hacks.

The former Hewlett-Packard CEO said that “we’ve known for over a decade the Chinese were coming after our most important systems” on Sunday’s “Meet the Press.”

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“We ought to make it very painful for the Chinese to be aggressive in cyber warfare,” Fiorina said.

Fiorina has been an outspoken critic of the Obama administration’s handling of China in the wake of this spring’s massive breach of the Office of Personnel Management.

The attack exposed the data of over 21 million federal employees, contractors and others. Federal officials have linked the hack to Beijing, though the White House has stopped short of making that accusation.

“China is rapidly evolving from a sometime partner, sometime competitor, into an adversary,” Fiorina said on Facebook in June. She called for a leader who will “confront our adversaries abroad.”

Fiorina also reiterated the need for collaboration between private business and the federal government to help mitigate cybersecurity threats.

The Republican candidate called on Congress to pass the punted Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA), remarking that the legislation has been “languishing, frankly ... for several years now.”

CISA is intended to improve national cybersecurity by facilitating the exchange of threat data between the public and private sectors.

“We need to get that bill passed so that level of collaboration is possible,” Fiorina said.