US to confront China over cyber security

2013-02-13 07:33
A concerted effort of millions of attempts to cripple Israeli websites during the Gaza conflict has failed, Israel's finance minister has said. (AFP)

A concerted effort of millions of attempts to cripple Israeli websites during the Gaza conflict has failed, Israel's finance minister has said. (AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Washington - The White House cyber security executive order, to be unveiled Wednesday by US President Barack Obama's top security officials, will be the most comprehensive plan yet for confronting electronic attacks on America's computer networks, or at least a good-faith effort amid an alarming tide in industrial espionage in the past year that experts blame mostly on China.

The strategy is expected to urge businesses to enforce tougher standards to protect online commerce and direct US intelligence agencies to share even classified threat data with companies considered vital to the US economy, such as transportation and banking.

While symbolic, the plan leaves practical questions unanswered: Should a business be required to tell the government if it's been hacked and US interests are at stake?

Can you sue your bank or water treatment facility if those companies don't take reasonable steps to protect you? And if a private company's systems are breached, should the government swoop in to stop the attacks - and pick up the tab?

The process has exposed how difficult and complex the issue is, turning the long-awaited executive order into a bureaucratic scramble aimed at showing countries like China and Iran that the US takes seriously the protection of consumer secrets.

Intensive effort

It's been an intensive effort by White House staff and industry lobbyists wary of government intervention but fearful about their bottom line.

"I think in general it means [the US] will advance the case of cyber security, and that's important," said Paul Smocer, the head of the technology policy division at The Financial Services Roundtable, a powerful lobbying group that represents the nation's biggest banks. "How much teeth versus how much gum there is, we'll see."

The cyber threat to the US has been heavily debated since the 1990s, when much of American commerce shifted online and critical systems began to rely increasingly on networked computers.

Security experts began to warn of looming disaster, including threats that terrorists could cut off a city's water supply or shut down electricity. But what's emerged in recent years, according to cyber experts, is the constant pilfering of America's intellectual property by US competitors.

"We have, as the US government, set up lawn chairs, told the burglars where the silver is in the bottom drawer, and opened up the case of beer and watched them do it," Representative Mike Rogers, the Republican chair of the House intelligence committee, told CBS television's Face the Nation this week.

The US has been preparing a new intelligence estimate that details cyber espionage as a growing economic problem. One official said last week that the estimate was expected to cite more directly a role by the Chinese government and favour aggressive action against the Chinese government. The official was not authorised to discuss the classified report and spoke only on condition of anonymity.

Richard Clarke, a former White House cyber security adviser during the Clinton administration, said that executive orders and intelligence estimates aside, the US in 15 years of debate on the subject still hasn't answered the very practical questions of who exactly is in charge of stopping a cyber attack on commercial networks and at what point the government should deploy its own resources.
- SAPA
Read more on:    us  |  cybercrime
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
SPONSORED CONTENT
5 crucial questions to ask before you take that job 2014-10-30 08:00

You choose your employer just as much as they choose you. Here are 5 of the most important things you should find out about a company before you sign up.

/News
 

90-year-old's incredible travels

Age is but a number. This grandma is living life to the fullest!

 
 

Where were you when you last felt alive?

10 facts about swimming you didn't know
Snors with a cause - creating awareness of male health
Watch! Skateboarders racing cyclists
Exciting new zipline for Cape Town!

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

It's Flash Sale Friday – one day only!

Buy 3 & get the cheapest 1 FREE: On selected DVDs, Blu-rays, series and music. While stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to R2100 on electronics! – As seen in the catalogue

Wishing for tech gadgets this festive? Save up to R2100 on hot tech products at kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

TV Series – 2 for R299

Loads of hot titles to choose from. Shop now!

Hot offer: Up to 50% off irons

Save up to 50% on all Philips irons. While stocks last. Shop now!

Seen something you like in our catalogue?

Find the perfect gift and save up to R5000 – As seen on the catalogue. Hurry and shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may be doing the work and playing the game, but your innovative mind is on a far away planet planning the next big thing....read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.