US Calls Upon China To Stop Hacking While Accused Of Cyberattacks By North Korea
March 17, 2013

US Calls Upon China To Stop Hacking While Accused Of Cyberattacks By North Korea

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports — Your Universe Online

As members of the Obama administration called upon China´s newly-elected president to do more to stop cyberthreats targeting the US, officials from North Korea accused Americans of participating in a series of attacks that targeted servers in the nation´s capital, according to various media reports.

US Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, who is planning to visit new Chinese President Xi Jinping this week to discuss economic reports, will put pressure on Beijing officials to take “serious steps” in order to stop Chinese cyberattacks that target American entities, Reuters reported on Friday.

An unnamed senior US official told the news organization the plan was to “press China to take serious steps to investigate and put a stop to these activities and to engage with us in a constructive direct dialogue to establish acceptable norms of behavior in cyberspace, recognizing it is a growing challenge for both of us.”

Reports of Lew´s upcoming visit and hard-line stance on the cyberthreat issue come one day after President Barack Obama spoke with Xi Jinping regarding the potential loss of intellectual property resulting by Chinese cyberattacks.

According to Nicole Perlroth of the New York Times, “The mere mention of cyberthreats is a step forward for an administration that has been reluctant to confront Beijing on Chinese military attacks even as billions of dollars´ worth of trade secrets have been stolen.”

She adds the President “has been increasingly vocal about cyberthreats, but has not gone as far as to call out China by name.” Privately, however, “administration officials have said they plan to tell China´s new leaders that the volume and sophistication of Chinese cyberattacks have become so intense that they threaten the relationship between Washington and Beijing,” Perlroth added.

The Chinese have repeatedly denied responsibility for computer-based attacks on US firms, and have, in the past, claimed to be the victim of hackers as well, the New York Times said. In fact, they have even gone so far as to blame the US for some of those incidents, according to The Next Web´s Alex Wilhelm. Now, it appears as though officials from another country are doing likewise.

On Friday, North Korea accused the US and South Korea for a series of cyberattacks that temporarily shut down websites last week, the Associated Press (AP) said. South Korea denied the allegations, and US military officials declined to comment, according to the wire service.

“Internet access in Pyongyang was intermittent on Wednesday and Thursday, and Loxley Pacific Co., the broadband Internet provider for North Korea, said it was investigating an online attack that took down Pyongyang servers,” the AP said. A company spokesman said it was “not clear where the attack originated,” and experts “indicated it could take months to determine what happened.”

“The cyberattack accusation comes amid a torrent of North Korean criticism against the US and South Korea for holding routine joint military drills that Pyongyang considers preparations for an invasion,” the news agency added. “North Korea also is incensed by UN sanctions punishing Pyongyang for testing a nuclear device that it claims to need as a defense against US aggression.”