US, India boost cyber cooperation

The U.S. and India have pledged to enhance their cybersecurity cooperation.

The two countries' leaders reached the agreement as part of a broader statement of joint efforts during President Obama’s visit this weekend to India. Obama met with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to discuss a wide range of diplomatic initiatives.

ADVERTISEMENT

The two vowed to share a broader range of cybersecurity information and work on creating international cyber norms.

India's proximity to China — the base for the majority of cyberattacks targeting the U.S. — makes it a valuable cyber partner.

According to a White House release, the pair “noted the serious risks to national and economic security from malicious cyber activity and agreed to cooperate on enhancing operational sharing of cyber threat information, examining how international law applies in cyberspace, and working together to build agreement on norms of responsible state behavior.”

A recent cyberattack on Sony Pictures — which massively damaged the company’s network and almost caused the studio to pull the plug on a major comedy — has forced the U.S. to make some unique decisions about how a state should respond to state-sponsored cyber crime.

The administration believes North Korea ordered the digital hit as retaliation for the Sony film, “The Interview,” which depicts the assassination of the reclusive East Asian nation’s leader, Kim Jong Un.

The White House has since imposed a round of economic sanctions targeting Pyongyang’s arms dealers. It was the first public element of what’s expected to be a broader response.

Obama has also made it a priority to increase the penalties for various cyber crimes.

The president spoke with Modi about this initiative, as well. The two countries agreed to enhance their partnership “in the areas of extradition and mutual legal assistance” for various international crimes, including cyber crime.