The United States may start diplomatic talks with the People's Republic of China on the topic of the constant stream of cyberattacks emanating from servers based in that country, President George W. Bush said on Tuesday during a press briefing at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Conference.
Asked about the attacks during a question-and-answer session with the press, the U.S. leader said that the United States needs to secure its systems to defends against such attacks, which come from many sources. However, he stated that, if intelligence indicates that the attacks from China merit special consideration, he will bring up the issue with that nation.
"In terms of whether or not I'll bring this up to countries that we suspect may -- from which there may have been an attack, I may," President Bush said on Tuesday, according to a White House transcript. "In this instance, I don't have the intelligence at my fingertips right now. Whether it be this issue, or issues like intellectual property rights, I mean, if you have a relationship with a country, then you've got to respect the country's systems and knowledge base. And that's what we expect from people with whom we trade."
This week, U.S. military officials stated that attacks from China had resulted in the shutdown of some unclassified military systems, according to a report in the Financial Times. The news follows allegations by German government officials that recent attacks on that nation's computer systems had led back the Chinese military.
China tops the list of countries that have servers hosting Web pages designed to infect visitors, according to antivirus firm Sophos. About 45 percent of all malicious Web pages are hosted on servers in China, the firm said, followed by the United States at 21 percent and Russia at 11 percent.
In a joint statement with Chinese President Hu Jintao on Thursday, President Bush did not mention the attacks.
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Posted by: Robert Lemos