April 2 (Bloomberg) — The Obama administration has softened its tone in responding to cyber attacks that may have originated in China, betting that playing down the dispute will help the U.S. obtain the Asian superpower’s cooperation on foreign-policy goals, security experts said.
That calculation may yield short-term benefits such as Chinese support for additional sanctions against Iran and reining in North Korea, though in the longer term it could wind up endangering U.S. economic leadership, said Tom Kellermann, a former World Bank security official.
“The U.S. is in a very difficult position,” said Kellermann, a vice president at Core Security Technologies Inc., a Boston-based security-software company. President Barack Obama needs “help from China.”
Mountain View, California-based Google Inc., owner of the world’s most popular search engine, disclosed in January that it had been the target of cyber attacks that resulted in the theft of intellectual property and the infiltration of e-mail accounts belonging to people active in Chinese human-rights causes. U.S. authorities began an investigation and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton urged China to do so, too.
The U.S. response falls short of actions that could deter future attacks such as threatening sanctions or at least complaining to the World Trade Organization, Kellermann said.
Complicating the U.S. posture are long-standing issues such as Nor… >>>