Obama hosts meeting on cybersecurity with CEOs

AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson was among the chief executives discussing cybersecurity with the president.

Don Reisinger
Don Reisinger
Former CNET contributor 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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President Barack Obama met with 13 chief executives yesterday to dig deeper into cybersecurity.

According to The New York Times, which first reported on the meeting, the discussion took place in the White House Situation Room and was a "two-way" exchange of information between the president and the chief executives.

AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson, along with chief executives at Exxon Mobil, Bank of America, and JPMorgan Chase, were all in attendance, according to the Times.

Over the last several weeks, a slew of companies has been hit with cyberattacks. Online banking sites have also been targeted. The issue has become such a concern that the Obama administration has made clear that it wants to fully address cybersecurity and has cited China as its chief concern. Until the president delivers a full strategy for protecting the country's assets from cyberthreats, he wants to hear from the companies that have been impacted, according to the Times.

For its part, China has said that it has been the victim of attacks by the U.S. and needs to protect itself as well.

Obama last month signed an executive order that allows for more government sharing about cyberthreats with companies. The move was seen as a temporary solution until broader safety measures are instituted.

The White House didn't say exactly what was discussed during the meeting with the executives, but White House press secretary Jay Carney said that he "hopes that out of this meeting and the many others he has on this topic, that we will build the kind of consensus necessary to compel Congress to take appropriate action."