"Let's be clear: This disclosure is not just an attack on Americans for political interests," Clinton said Monday. "It is an attack on the international community."
After saying she has been reaching out to other world leaders, Clinton said she "will not comment on or confirm the stolen cables," but did say, "The United States deeply regrets the release of any information that was intended to be confidential."
She said discussions from the field meant to be kept out of the public eye were necessary for informed decision making in Washington.
She said she was confident the global partnerships forged by the Obama administration would withstand the furor surrounding the more than 250,000 diplomatic cables released during the weekend by WikiLeaks.
"At least one of (our) counterparts (said), 'Don't worry about it. You should see what we say about you,'" Clinton said. "It's part of the give-and-take."
"Every country, including the United States, must be able to have candid conversations," she said.
She said federal officials were working aggressively hold responsible "those who stole the information" and to ensure a similar breach doesn't happen again.
"Whatever the motives are," Clinton said, "it is clear that releasing (the documents) poses real risks to real people."
The publication of the documents is neither "laudable" nor "brave," she said, because they were published without regard of any subsequent risks.
"In addition to endangering a particular individual, (the release) tears at the fabric of the proper function of responsible government," Clinton said.
Asked specifically about documents concerning fears about Iran, Clinton said she anticipated Iran would be discussed when she goes on mission to Asia and Africa this week and the documents support worldwide concern.
"I think that it shouldn't be a surprise to anyone that Iran is a great source of concern," Clinton said, adding that in her discussions with world leaders what comes through "is a concern about Iranian actions and intentions."
If anything, the material reported on confirms "the fact that Iran poses a very serious threat" both within the region and beyond, she said.