Administration developing cybertheft penalties

A report released Wednesday considers the possibility of introducing fines and other trade actions against any country guilty of cyber-espionage.

WASHINGTON — Evidence of an unrelenting campaign of cyberstealing linked to the Chinese government is prompting the Obama administration to develop more aggressive responses to the theft of U.S. government data and corporate trade secrets.

A report being released Wednesday considers fines and other trade actions against China or any other country guilty of cyber-espionage. Officials familiar with the administration's plans spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly about the threatened action.

The Chinese government denies being involved in the cyberattacks cited in a cybersecurity firm's analysis of breaches that compromised more than 140 companies.

A Virginia-based cybersecurity firm has tied a secret Chinese military unit in Shanghai to years of cyberattacks against U.S. companies.

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