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US Presses China on Cyber Attacks

Monday, March 25, 2013 | 8:30 AM Leave a comment Go to comments

U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew was in China last week to talk with officials about economic issues, including how cybersecurity has become a top U.S. priority.

Meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang, Lew expressed concerns over recent cyber attacks on U.S. businesses and banks, which some say was the work of Chinese state-sponsored hackers.

“There was no mistaking how seriously we take this issue,” Lew said in a briefing with reporters following his meeting with the Chinese officials, according to The Wall Street Journal.

“It was clear from the discussions that China has made a serious commitment to their reform agenda,” he said, regarding the country’s new leadership. “The challenge will be to drive forward toward material progress.”

Meanwhile, a group of hackers thought to be part of China’s military have reportedly shut down their cyber attack operations.

Speaking at a Senate Armed Services Committee subpanel briefing last week, Richard Bejtlich, chief security officer of Mandiant, said the hackers associated with spying on U.S. networks have taken recent measures to cover up their tracks and halt the hacking.

“We’ve seen them try to clean up some of their online presence,” said Bejtlich, according to The Hill. “Some of the public databases that we or other security researchers can use to identify them, they’ve changed some of those entries.”

“I think this whole group just went bye-bye for now,” added Mandiant CEO Kevin Mandia, following the briefing. He went on to suggest the hackers were “pilfering every PDF, Word document, PowerPoint…related to the other projects that they’re interested in.”

But China’s networks are also under attack, according to a new report released by the country’s National Computer Network Emergency Response Technical Team (CNCERT).

Over the course of one year, the CNCERT report found that hackers breached over 16,000 web pages in China, including nearly 2,000 websites associated with the government, according to Chinese news agency Xinhua.

Pointing fingers back at the United States, the report suggested that over 80 percent of the hacking could be attributed to U.S.-based IP addresses.

“China resolutely opposes hacking of any form and would like to communicate with the United States on cyberspace security in a constructive way,” China’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told Xinhua.

Michelle Kincaid is a DC-based public affairs professional specializing in technology policy. She is creator of the blog

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Following are some additional cyber headlines you may have missed:

FEDERAL NEWS:

DHS Cyber Czar Mark Weatherford to step down (NextGov)

NIST works to drum up cyber standards support (NextGov)

Obama meets with CEOs on cybersecurity (New York Times)

Privacy backlash against CISPA cybersecurity bill gains traction (CNET)

Commerce officials call on Congress to pass cybersecurity legislation (The Hill)

Agencies struggle with cybersecurity despite increased spending (Federal Times)

GAO Report: Better defined and implemented national cyber strategy is needed (GAO)

INDUSTRY OVERVIEW:

GE launches cybersecurity solution for utilities (Renew Grid)

DHS cybersecurity chief to head to The Chertoff Group (The Hill)

Venture capitalists bet big on cybersecurity startups (USA Today)

Raytheon, Lockheed to get U.S. secrets for cybersecurity (Bloomberg)

Cybersecurity lobby surges as Congress considers new laws (Bloomberg)

As cyber threats mount, business is booming in the security world (Fox News)

Defense contractors translate their own cybersecurity protections into business (Washington Post)

INTERNATIONAL  OUTLOOK:

Hacker attacks top latest US list of global threats (Bloomberg)

North Korea blames US, South Korea for ‘cyber attack’ (AFP)

South Korea Eyes Pyongyang after possible cyber attack (NPR)

China says willing to discuss cybersecurity with the US (Reuters)

HACKING HIGHLIGHTS:

Cyber attack stops access to JPMorgan Chase site (Reuters)

Financial info on celebs, officials leaked online (Associated Press)

Xbox hacker makes book free in Aaron Swartz tribute (Slash Gear)

Hacker sentenced for over three years after stealing iPad data (ZDNet)

Reuters editor indicted for conspiring with hacker group Anonymous (TechCrunch)

Community service for hacker who crashed HKU online poll (South China Morning Post)

CYBER INSIGHTS:

Next cyber attack targets: Cars? (CNN International)

Editorial: The U.S. is not ready for a cyberwar (Washington Post)

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This report is also available on ClearanceJobs.com at: http://news.clearancejobs.com/2013/03/25/cybersecurity-news-round-up-us-presses-china-on-cyber-attacks/

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