Back in February - which was evidently a busy month for the security sector - US President Barack Obama finally signed a much-anticipated executive order to protect key elements of the country's critical infrastructure against cyberattacks.
Covering power plants, water utilities and other high-profile targets, the eight-page order - entitled the "Cybersecurity Framework" - is a direct response to US fears of cyberattacks from China and Iran, among others.
The idea of the order is to lay down minimum security standards for major industries in order to try to prevent huge-scale attacks that could potentially bring down vast swathes of the country's industry.
"We know hackers steal people's identities and infiltrate private email," said Obama.
"We know foreign countries and companies swipe our corporate secrets. Now our enemies are also seeking the ability to sabotage our power grid, our financial institutions and our air traffic control systems," he continued.
In order for the US to avoid a scenario in which "we look back years from now and wonder why we did nothing in the face of real threats to our security and our economy", the executive order states that the government will work closely with organisations in the private sector to develop the standards voluntarily.
The National Institute of Standards and Technology took the lead in implementing the framework. It is expected to report back later this year with a complete set of guidelines.
A couple of months after Obama's cyber security order, the Pentagon released a report accusing the Chinese government of cyber attacks against military and civilian computer systems in the US.
It marked the first time US authorities directly suggested that Beijing is behind computer hacking, with the accusation coming as part of an annual Department of Defense report to Congress.
"In 2012, numerous computer systems around the world, including those owned by the US government, continued to be targeted for intrusions, some of which appear to be attributable directly to the Chinese government and military," said the report.
"These intrusions were focused on exfiltrating information. China is using its computer network exploitation (CNE) capability to support intelligence collection against the US diplomatic, economic and defense industrial base sectors that support US national defense programs."
The Pentagon suggested that China is using the information to boost its own military and defence programmes. According to the report, China's development of cyber warfare capabilities is in line with strategy set out in publications by the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA).
"Developing cyber capabilities for warfare is consistent with authoritative PLA military writings. Two military doctrinal writings, 'Science of Strategy' and 'Science of Campaigns' identify information warfare (IW) as integral to achieving information superiority and an effective means for countering a stronger foe.
"Although neither document identifies the specific criteria for employing computer network attack against an adversary, both advocate developing capabilities to compete in this medium."
China dismissed allegations that it facilitates cyber crime, calling them "groundless".
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