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Obama Presses Xi on Cyber Attacks Amid Focus on Hacking

President Barack Obama told Chinese President Xi Jinping that cybersecurity would be a key part of bilateral talks as the U.S. seeks to protect companies and individuals from computer attacks, a White House official said.

During a phone call yesterday, Obama and Xi committed to hold discussions on hacker threats as part of regular conversations on security and economic matters, Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes said.

The two leaders spoke the same day that Xi was named China’s president by the national legislature, replacing Hu Jintao. The issue has vaulted to the top of the U.S. agenda as the Obama administration seeks to curb attacks on corporate networks that U.S. intelligence agencies and security firms such as Mandiant Corp. trace to China.

White House officials are increasing their public efforts to hold China accountable for hacking. National Security Adviser Thomas Donilon said this week that “cyber intrusions emanating from China at a very large scale” had become a point of contention with the Chinese government and called on its leaders to take steps to halt computer espionage.

The administration is also working to build support among U.S. corporate leaders for measures that would strengthen the security of corporate and government networks.

Obama, who is pressing for cooperation between government and private industry to guard against cyber attacks, dropped by a White House session yesterday attended by information-technology and communications executives. More...

03-15-2013 17:01