US attorney general Eric Holder has laid out the ground work for a new strategy to combat cyber spying threats.
In a recent speech, Holder said the threat of private companies losing trade secrets due to cyber espionage attacks is increasing. He has recommended that the Justice Department increase co-operation with private industry to better fight cyber spying threats.
"New technologies have torn down traditional barriers to international business and global commerce, they've also made it easier for criminals to steal trade secrets - and to do so from anywhere in the world," said Holder.
"A hacker in China can acquire source code from a software company in Virginia without leaving his or her desk. With a few keystrokes, a terminated or simply unhappy employee of a defence contractor can misappropriate designs, processes, and formulas worth billions of dollars."
Holder reported the Justice Department is making cyber crime a priority in the wake of an onslaught of attacks on the private sector.
He warned that the rise of mobile and cloud-based devices is increasing the risk for attack. The attorney general believes that the increase in risk could put private firms in danger of losing intellectual property data and hurt companies' effectiveness in the market.
"As critical technologies have advanced, criminals have adapted accordingly. Our need to keep pace with these changes remains imperative," continued Holder.
"And the stakes have never been higher."
The White House also weighted in on the growing threat of cyber attacks during a recent press briefing. White House press secretary Jay Carney told reporters that president Obama has been pushing for increased cyber security legislation over the past year.
"[President Obama] made this an issue repeatedly. He pressed Congress last year to pass legislation, and as you know, just the other day issued an executive order addressing cybersecurity," said Carney.
"An executive order is not a substitute for new cyber legislation. So we, again, call on Congress to take up cybersecurity legislation because it's important for our national security and our economic security."
Earlier this month, president Obama signed an executive order aimed to strengthen US cybersecurity. However, the president has yet to get cyber security legislation passed through a divided Congress.
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