In the past 13 months, there has been a tremendous drop in the amount of hacking coming from China. Part of the change has to do with China and the Obama administration coming to an agreement to ease economic espionage.
Analysts believe that the deal with China is a great example for U.S., when it comes to dealing with Russia. While things have slowed down in China. Russia has only increased. The country is strengthening their campaign that will focus on undermining America’s confidence in the presidential election.
Dmitri Alperovitch said the improvement in China’s behavior “has been the biggest success we’ve had in this arena in 30 years.” Dmitri Alperovitch is the co-founder of Crowdstrike, which is a cyber security firm which traces intrusions in the computer network. Alperovitch said that it had nothing to with any changes in cyber space. ‘It was the threat of sanctions and the impact on their economy.” The cyber security firm has witnessed commercial hacking against firms in the U.S. drop by 90%. A large part has to do with Chinese government actors. The U.S. intelligence agencies reported having a substantial decrease as well.
Even with the large decrease, there is still hacking from Chinese intelligence agencies. According to Alperovitch, they are still attempting to steal national U.S. security secrets, which includes defense firms being attacked. Exact same attacks are done by the National Security Agency, when they attack China and other adversaries of the U.S. So, the attacks are viewed as being commonplace.
One of the problems within the agreement is stealing corporate intellectual property that will benefit Chinese firms. President Obama and President Xi Jinping signed an agreement in September 2015. Although the U.S. claimed to not do this act, it was done with impunity by China for years. A former director of NSA said the hacking done by China was the biggest wealth transfer in modern history.
Obama was led to elevate the issue, after years of pressure. The president threatened sanctions on China. In 2014, five members from the People’s Liberation Army was indicted by the U.S. for accusations of commercial hacking. China made an essential agreement to stop the hacking.
A year prior to the agreement being signed, the number of attacks had lowered. iSight intelligence unit of FireEye reported that the overall decrease began in mid-2014.