Toward the end of the 90-minute debate, moderator and NBC anchor Lester Holt asked: “We want to start with a 21st century war happening every day in this country, our institutions are under cyber attack, and our secrets are being stolen. So my question is who’s behind it and how do we fight it?”
The two candidates disagreed as to who was behind the recent attacks on the Democratic National Committee, but concurred that cybersecurity should be a top priority.
The former secretary of state, Clinton, laid the blame squarely at the feet of Moscow—concurring with the intelligence community and the view of the President Obama administration—and did not mince words.
“There’s no doubt now that Russia has used cyberattacks,” she said. “[Russian President Vladimir] Putin is playing a tough, long game here.”
Clinton also mentioned theft of “private information,” and “public sector information,” which likely referred to the massive heist of government employee files at the Office of Personnel Management in 2015.
As she continued:
And we are not going to sit idly by and permit state actors to go after our information, our private sector information or our public sector information, and we’re going to have to make it clear that we don’t want to use the kinds of tools that we have. We don’t want to engage in a different kind of warfare.
But we will defend the citizens of this …