September 14, 2015
To sanction or not to sanction; that’s the question legislators, public onlookers and federal workers have been waffling about since the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) data breaches, and even dating back to the cyberattack on Sony Pictures in 2014.
In the latter debilitating attack, the U.S. government imposed sanctions on North Korea, the apparent perpetrator. But the government has dragged its feet on putting forth sanctions in the OPM breach, even though it pointed to China as the likely conductor of the major espionage campaign that turned over more than 20 million federal workers’ personal information, including that of informants based in foreign countries.
The contentious relationship between the two countries appeared to come to a head over the weekend, ahead of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to the White House later this month. China’s state news agency, Xinhuanet, reported on September 12 that the two countries reached an “important consensus on combating cyber crime.”