Obama rejected tough options for countering Chinese cyber attacks two years ago

There’s so much of it going on the adversaries don’t know what the line is. They do not know that there is a line they can’t cross.”


Soft on Cyber Crime

Bill Gertz
The Washington Free Beacon

President Barack Obama two years ago rejected a series of tough actions against China, including counter-cyber attacks and economic sanctions, for Beijing’s aggressive campaign of cyber espionage against the U.S. government and private businesses networks, according to administration officials.

Meanwhile, China recently issued a veiled threat to the United States about U.S. accusations of Chinese military cyber espionage. China told U.S. officials that continued U.S. public accusations of cyber espionage would render future bilateral discussions unproductive during recent U.S.-China talks following the release of a security firm’s report linking the Chinese military to cyber spying.

On plans to deter Chinese cyber attacks, senior administration officials turned down a series of tough options designed to dissuade China from further attacks that were developed over a three-month period beginning in August 2011.

According to administration officials familiar with internal discussions, the options were dismissed as too disruptive of U.S.-China relations…

…The head of the U.S. Cyber Command Gen. Keith Alexander last year estimated that foreign computer attacks are costing U.S. companies $250 billion a year in stolen data. Alexander said in a speech in July 2012 that the data theft is “the greatest transfer of wealth in history.”…

The complete article is at The Washington Free Beacon.


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