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US to get tough on state backed cybercrime with new trade sanctions

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By John Glenday, Reporter

February 21, 2013 | 1 min read

The US is to get tough on nation states which fail to prosecute cybercriminals with the introduction of new trade sanctions, the White House has announced.

The move is thought to be an indirect challenge toward China which routinely denies tacit support for arms-length groups of military hackers who’ve been accused of pilfering state secrets, intellectual property and industrial data on a grand scale.

US attorney general Eric Holder will work with other affected governments to target offenders with trade restrictions and criminal prosecutions following a 120 day review of legislation.

A White House report lists 17 cases of trade secret thefts by Chinese companies and individuals since 2010, significantly more than any other country.

The Obama administration is mounting a concerted effort to counter what it perceives as a ‘a significant and steadily increasing threat to America's economy and national security interests’.

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