Obama Meets With CEOs to Discuss United Cyber Security Plan

Mike O'Brien

President Obama is meeting with business leaders today (Wednesday) to discuss how the private and public sectors can work together to combat the growing threat of cyber attacks from abroad.

The meeting in the White House’s Situation Room comes hot on the heels of increasing attacks from China, sparking widespread fears of confidential information falling into the wrong hands.

Mr. Obama is keen to hear what the group of CEOs have to say on the subject and how best the government can alert businesses to possible threats.

He will echo the concerns of White House National Security Adviser Tom Donilon, who addressed the issue in a speech to the Asia Society in New York on Monday.


Mr. Donilon said the scourge of cyber attacks could threaten the economic relationship between China and the United States and that the communist country must recognize the extent of the problem, Reuters reports.

He said: "The international community cannot afford to tolerate such activity from any country."

Fearful of attacks on public utilities, Mr. Obama last month signed an executive order calling for better protection of the country's infrastructure and an improvement on information sharing among federal agencies.

The executive order also calls for the establishment of a system of voluntary cyber security standards.

The White House wants a new law that would set minimum security standards for companies and provide greater security for private information that may be turned over to the government.

Last month IDGA.org told how a secretive Chinese military unit has been accused of being behind a series of hacking attacks on more than 100 companies in the U.S.

Related: From Information Assurance to Cyber Operations: The Way Ahead

U.S. computer security company Mandiant said in a startling report that it believes a unit called Unit 61398, which is based in Shanghai, had carried out "sustained" attacks on various industries.

The report said: "The details we have analyzed during hundreds of investigations convince us that the groups conducting these activities are based primarily in China and that the Chinese Government is aware of them."

This week it emerged that Mr. Obama is concerned that personal details about his wife Michelle may have been compromised. He told ABC News that U.S. authorities are investigating whether hackers had posted online financial and personal information about the First Lady, along with the personal details of various celebrities, including Beyonce.

Details of the attendee list will not be made available until after the event.

The issue of cyber security will be the focus of IDGA's Cyber Security and Network Defense summit in June. For more details, go to www.defensecybersecurity.com