Skip to main content

Chinese cyber-attacks 'less voluminous', more focused

The deal between the Chinese president Xi Jinping and US president Barack Obama about the two countries not engaging in mutual cyber-espionage efforts yielded little results, security researchers claim.

At least from the American point of view, as Chinese state-sponsored cyber-attackers are still quite active. Security researchers from FireEye said they analysed the activities of 72 groups believed to be either from China, or are supporting Chinese state interests.

Between late 2015 and early 2016, there have been 13 attacks suspected to have originated from China-based groups. These attacks compromised corporate networks in the US, Europe and Japan, and targeted government, military and commercial sites.

The amount of these attacks, however, is slowly declining, FireEye says, adding that not all credit should go to the Obama – Jinping deal. Instead, the decline is a result of a mix of factors, including military reforms done by the Chinese president to centralise China’s cyber elements, as well as ‘the widespread exposure of Chinese cyber operations’. Of course, the ‘mounting pressure from the U.S. Government’ has had an impact.

Three years later, we see that Chinese-based groups are still active, but not as active as before. They’re now also more focused on specific targets, it was said in the report.

“Three years later, we see a threat that is less voluminous but more focused, calculated, and still successful in compromising corporate networks,” the report concludes.

The US government has accused China multiple times of conducting cyber-espionage campaigns against the States, but China has always denied these claims.

Photo credit: karen roach / Shutterstock