ENNISKILLEN, Northern Ireland, June 18 (UPI) -- Cybersecurity threats are among the most serious international security challenges of the 21st Century, a statement from the United States and Russia said.
Russian President Vladimir Putin met President Barack Obama on the sidelines of the annual summit of the Group of Eight in Northern Ireland.
The leaders issued a joint statement saying they would cooperate on cybersecurity threats. Transparency measures would ensure cybersecurity exercises were understood as benign and both sides would work to address broad-based national security concerns.
"We recognize that threats to or in the use of [computer technologies] include political-military and criminal threats, as well as threats of a terrorist nature, and are some of the most serious national and international security challenges we face in the 21st Century," a joint statement published Monday said.
Cybercrime and cybersecurity challenges moved to the forefront of the international security debate after the Chinese military was suspected of targeting U.S. defensive networks. The Chinese government denies the allegations.
For their part, European lawmakers said they were concerned by intelligence gathering online, saying privacy and national security should go hand-in-hand.
A May report from Internet security provider Trend Micro said political leaders are aware of the growing dangers of cybercrime but efforts are restricted in terms of expertise and a general lack of resources.
The U.S.-Russian declaration said cybersecurity cooperation was "necessary" to protect broad international interests.