World / US and Canada

Negotiation seen as key to cyber solution

By Cao Yin (China Daily) Updated: 2015-08-04 07:40

Experts say any US plans to damage firewall would be 'dangerous, serious'

The best way to solve cybersecurity problems between China and the United States is through communication and negotiation, instead of engaging in a war of words and threats, Chinese Internet specialists said on Monday.

Negotiation seen as key to cyber solution

A map of China is seen through a magnifying glass on a computer screen showing binary digits in Singapore in this Jan 2, 2014 file photo illustration. [Photo/Agencies]

The New York Times reported over the weekend that the US government had studied several plans to retaliate against those suspected of stealing the personal information of about 20 million US citizens, such as by damaging the attackers' network firewall.

Although the US has not given a clear reply on which country it believes was the online attacker, the officials involved in the investigation, including James Clapper, the US national intelligence director, said that the biggest suspect is China, according to The New York Times.

The report quickly stirred up debate between the two nations and attracted the attention of experts in the online security industry.

Shen Yi, deputy director of the Internet governance research center at Fudan University, said that unreasonable accusations or online battles will not solve the problem. The reported plan to damage the attackers' firewall means the US aims to destroy China's network infrastructure, "which is dangerous and serious."

"The two countries should first figure out whether the attack was from China, and then sit down for communication instead of arguments," Shen said.

Guessing who is responsible will aggravate the security problem between the nations and may cause the US to make a bad judgment, according to Shen.

Zuo Xiaodong, vice-president of the China Information Security Research Institute, said that the US making accusations without evidence is irresponsible.

"The US ignored communication channels that the two countries built to solve security problems, which will make future security cases more serious and bring the two sides into a cold war in cyberspace," Zuo said.

Zuo highlighted the complexity of each security case, saying that China suffers online threats from around the world.

For example, more than 80 percent of government websites have been attacked, according to the National Computer Network Emergency Response Technical Team.

"What the two countries should do is not to continue irresponsibly blaming the online attacks on each other. Instead, we should better share security information and tackle cases via our established communication platforms," Zuo said.

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