Magazine article American Banker

White House Official Calls on China to Halt Cyberattacks

Magazine article American Banker

White House Official Calls on China to Halt Cyberattacks

Article excerpt

Byline: Brian Browdie

The White House is calling on the Chinese government to halt its alleged program of cyber intrusions on U.S. businesses and to discuss diplomatically what constitutes tolerable conduct for both countries in a digital age.

Reports that hackers tied to China's military have stolen data from hundreds of U.S. companies present concerns "at all levels" of the U.S. government, Thomas Donilon, President Obama's national security advisor, said Monday in a speech in New York.

"Increasingly, U.S. businesses are speaking out about their serious concerns about sophisticated, targeted theft of confidential business information and proprietary technologies through cyber intrusions emanating from China on an unprecedented scale," Donilon said in remarks prepared for delivery at the Asia Society. "The international community cannot afford to tolerate such activity from any country."

Donilon, who stressed that both China and the U.S. face risks when it comes to protecting personal data, critical infrastructure and financial transactions from electronic assaults, called on the Chinese to recognize the threat to trade their alleged spying poses, to investigate and stop the swiping of business plans and other information from American firms, and to engage in "direct dialogue to establish acceptable norms of behavior in cyberspace."

The remarks follow a report in February by digital security firm Mandiant that a group backed by China's People's Liberation Army has stolen business plans, technology blueprints, network user credentials and other information from at least 115 firms in the U.S. since 2006.

Financial firms are among those compromised, according to the report, although China has spent less time targeting the financial industry than information technology companies, aerospace firms and other businesses the Chinese view as strategically significant. …

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