“I wouldn’t consider them acts of war, but I would consider them acts of property damage, commercial theft and whenever a criminal act like that is state-sponsored, it’s a problem,” Obama said in an interview with the online publication re/code.

Obama said it was hard for the administration to protect against cyber attacks that target non-governmental companies. 

“One of the challenges is a lot of this is private sector; the vast bulk of it is private sector,” he said. “The government has to be able to not only work with each individual company, but you’ve got to be able to pull those companies together so they’re working together more effectively.