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White House cautions China over cyber attacks

11 Mar 2013
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White House security advisor Tom Donilon has warned China to stop cyber attacks on US businesses for the good of international relations.

Donilon said that China-based cyber attacks on the enterprise sector can damage the countries international image. China and the US need to engage in an open dialogue to stop attacks and establish acceptable behaviours for cyberspace, he added.

"First, we need a recognition of the urgency and scope of this problem and the risk it poses - to international trade, to the reputation of Chinese industry and to our overall relations," said Donilon during his speech at The Asia Society.

"Second, Beijing should take serious steps to investigate and put a stop to these activities. Finally, we need China to engage with us in a constructive direct dialogue to establish acceptable norms of behaviour in cyberspace."

China has repeatedly been accused of cyber attacks on US businesses over the past year. A recent Mandiant report accused the country of hacking over 144 private companies. China was also accused of perpetrating recent attacks on the New York Times.

The Chinese Government has denied all attacks. Officials have stated that attacks came from Chinese IP addresses but not from government or military actors.

According to Donilon, attacks, like the ones alleged, will cause irreparable harm to US-China relations. Donilon advises both countries to come to the table and discuss ways to circumvent potential fallout from government-sponsored cyber attacks.

Cyber security has been a major issues for both the US and China in recent years. Last month, president Obama issued an executive order to strengthen US cyber security defences.

China also recently called out the US government for cyber attacks on its systems.

The country's ministry spokesman, Geng Yansheng, recently reported that Chinese government websites get hacked 144,000 times a month. Yangsheng said that 62 percent of those attacks come from US IP addresses.

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James Dohnert

James is a freelance writer and editor. In addition to ClickZ, his work has appeared in publications like V3, The Commonwealth Club,, and Shonen Jump magazine. He studied Journalism at Weber State University.

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