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In this May 10, 2017 file photo, President Donald Trump talks to reporters in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington. (Photo: AP/Evan Vucci, File)

U.S. President Donald Trump signed an executive order on Thursday to bolster the government's cyber security and protect critical infrastructure from cyber attacks, marking his first significant action to address what he has called a top priority.

The order seeks to improve the often-maligned network security of U.S. government agencies, from which foreign governments and other hackers have pilfered millions of personal records and other forms of sensitive data in recent years.

The White House said the order also aimed to enhance protection of infrastructure such as the energy grid and financial sector from sophisticated attacks that officials have warned could pose a national security threat or cripple parts of the economy.

The directive, which drew largely favorable reviews from cyber experts and industry groups, also lays out goals to develop a more robust cyber deterrence strategy, in part by forging strong cooperation with U.S. allies in cyberspace.

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