U.S. President Barack Obama added to pressure on China over cyber attacks during an interview with ANC News released on Wednesday. He claimed that some of the attacks, which have been affecting a wide range of American business and other organisations, and which have been increasing dramatically, were “state sponsored”.
“What is absolutely true is that we have seen a steady ramping up of cyber security threats. Some are state sponsored. Some are just sponsored by criminals,” he said. There could be no doubt in the mind of the audience which state he was referring to – China.
“We’ve made it very clear to China and some other state actors that, you know, we expect them to follow international norms and abide by international rules. And we’ll have some pretty tough talk with them. We already have,” Obama continued.
The Chinese cyber threat has been in the news a great deal recently. First a major American security firm announced that it had traced thousands of hacking attacks to a building owned by the Chinese military. Then, just yesterday, news broke that US intelligence services now consider cyber attacks to be a bigger threat to America than physical terrorism.
Combatting the threat of cyber attacks costs organisation in the United States billions of dollars every year, and the White House has claimed that company secrets are now being stolen at an ‘unprecedented scale’, disadvantaging American businesses.
China, however, has been quick to deny all of the accusations levelled against it, and keen to portray itself as a victim of the same crimes. Today China is calling for a global effort to end hacking attacks
“What is necessary in cyberspace is not war, but rather regulation and co-operation,” said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying.
“China wants to develop constructive dialogue and co-operation, and joint safeguarding of the peace, safety and co-operation of cyberspace together with the international community – including the United States.”
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