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Chinese and US security chiefs move to defuse cyber Cold War

08 May 2012
US defence secretary Leon Panetta Chinese general Liang Guanglie

US and Chinese defence ministers have met in an effort to quell growing rumblings that the two countries are on the brink of cyber war and instead promote their work together on cyber issues affecting both nations.

US defence secretary Leon Panetta and Chinese general Liang Guanglie met in Washington on Monday and during a press conference said the two nations are working together to ensure a new cyber Cold War doesn't ensue.

"Because the US and China have developed technological capabilities in this arena, it's extremely important that we work together to develop ways to avoid any miscalculation or misperception that could lead to crisis in this area," said Panetta.

"We agreed that obviously there are other countries, there are hackers, there are others that are involved in some of the attacks that both of our countries receive."

Liang went on to criticise the Western media, reiterating the Chinese government's stance that the country is being unfairly portrayed as the primary source of cyber attacks on the western world.

"I can hardly agree with the proposition that the cyber attacks directed to the US are directly coming from China, and during the meetings, secretary Panetta also agreed on my point that we cannot attribute all the cyber attacks to US to China," said Liang.

Liang's comments refer to the current slew of allegations suggesting the Chinese government is funding hacker groups to target the US.

Bit9's chief executive Patrick Morley went so far as to claim that the majority Advanced Persistent Threats (APT) targeting US and European companies stem from China, during an interview with V3 in April.

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Alastair Stevenson

Alastair has worked as a reporter covering security and mobile issues at V3 since March 2012. Before entering the field of journalism Alastair had worked in numerous industries as both a freelance copy writer and artist.

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