Cyberthreats a top topic in Obama's call with Chinese president

The two leaders made cyberthreats a key piece of their discussion, but stopped short of calling each other out, according to a report.

President Barack Obama had a digital agenda in his call to new Chinese President Xi Jinping congratulating him on his new position, according to a new report.

According to The New York Times, Obama and his Chinese counterpart spoke quite a bit about cyberattacks and their impact on each other's nations. The Times, which obtained the information from White House officials, didn't specifically say what was said during the conversation. But the fact that the presidents are having an open discussion on cyberattacks indicates just how far the issue has gone.

For years now, both China and the U.S. have reportedly been spying on each other through cyberattacks. In recent months, however, it's believed that the Chinese military has ramped up its hacking efforts, targeting news agencies, such as The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, and a slew of companies.

For its part, the Obama administration has decried the attacks, and the president himself spent a considerable amount of his State of the Union address discussing the threats the U.S. faces from cyberthreats. Obama has yet to publicly say China is the country's chief cyberthreat.

According to the Times, White House officials have said that they plan to hold more conversations with China's new leadership to discuss concerns with the recent cyberattacks. That is reportedly something China is willing to do .

About the author

Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.

 

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