US and China sign cybercrime pact

article-2518111-19D7434D00000578-74_634x423The United States and China have come up with guidelines for requesting assistance on cybercrime or other malicious cyber activities.

According to a statement from the US Justice Department, the agreement was reached in talks in Washington this week among officials including US Attorney General Loretta Lynch, US Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson and Chinese Public Security Minister Guo Shengkun.

China and the US will conduct “tabletop exercises” in the spring with a number of scenarios designed to improve understanding of the expectations for response and cooperation.

China’s Ministry of Public security said the agreement would have a “major impact” on the implementation of internet security measures, adding that the two sides resolved to maintain frank discussion on the issue.

The news was marred by the hacking of sensitive personnel records on people holding US security clearances at the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) last year. The Chinese said that the hacking was criminal, not state-sponsored. The US is not so certain.

The Washington Post said that  multiple people had been arrested in that case, which compromised data on more than 22 million federal workers.

US officials have said they are unaware of any evidence demonstrating that the hacked OPM data had been used for any criminal purposes.