Tom Donilon

U.S. national security adviser Tom Donilon spoke out today against Chinese hacking saying “the international community cannot afford to tolerate such activity.”

Donilon spoke today in New York saying that the U.S. needs three things from China: a recognition of how serious this situation is, action from Beijing to stop people within the country from carrying out these cyber attacks, and an opportunity to come to the table and hammer out “acceptable norms of behavior in cyberspace.” He did not specifically call out the Chinese government an actor in recent hacking events.

Earlier in February, security firm Mandiant released information about Chinese hackers attacking not just the New York Times, which found a breach in its system also in February, but U.S. entities in general. This has, as The Hill points out, been the first real substantive comment from the White House on the issue.

China made it’s own call for “rules” today as well. Foreign minister Yang Jiechi spoke to reporters in China Sunday referencing reports, perhaps Mandiant’s, that he says are “built on shaky ground.”

“Increasingly, U.S. businesses are speaking out about their serious concerns about sophisticated, targeted theft of confidential business information and proprietary technologies through cyber intrusions emanating from China on an unprecedented scale,” said Donilon in his own remarks. “From the President on down, this has become a key point of concern and discussion with China at all levels of our governments.”

Tom Donilon image via The White House/Flickr