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U.S. assessing cyber-risks

March 20, 2013 at 9:52 AM

WASHINGTON, March 20 (UPI) -- The U.S. government needs to look at ways it can better protect itself from cyberattacks from adversaries like China, Rep. Patrick Meehan said.

Meehan, R-Pa., chairman of the House Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, said he was expecting authorities Wednesday to outline what needs to be done to best protect U.S. interests in the digital era.

"Nation states have tremendous resources with which to support cyber attacks that disrupt our critical infrastructure, aid political or corporate espionage efforts or engage in financial theft," he said in a statement. "Experts agree the gravest threat of state-sponsored cyberattacks comes from Russia, Iran and particularly China."

U.S. security company Mandiant published a report last month stating that it traced cyberattacks on U.S. companies and government agencies to the Chinese military. The Chinese government denied the allegations.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew arrived in Beijing for a two-day visit that includes meetings with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Cybersecurity was one of the many issues on Lew's agenda, Chinese state-media reported.

James Clapper, the top U.S. intelligence official, told the Senate Intelligence Committee last week that a major cyberattack on the United States now posed a graver and more immediate threat than terrorism.

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