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US, China to step up cyber security effort

WASHINGTON • American and Chinese officials have agreed to expand cooperation to crack down on cybercrime as China’s state-run news agency said a hacking attack on the US Office of Personnel Management (OPM) was carried out by criminals there.

The two nations agreed to set guidelines for seeking assistance on cybercrime, hold a “tabletop” cybercrime exercise next year, and establish a cybercrime hot line between their two presidents, according to a statement from the Department of Justice.

The next dialogue will be held in June in Beijing, it said.

White House press secretary Josh Earnest on Wednesday pointed to the talks as evidence that the diplomatic row over cyber intrusions is beginning to smooth over. “The one thing that certainly can be pointed to as at least incremental progress is that Chinese officials did follow through on our joint commitment to pursue a cyber security dialogue,” he said.

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