Skip to main content

Has the rate of Chinese cyberattacks really gone down?

china cyber attack
hamburg berlin/Shutterstock
Warfare in the 21st century no longer solely utilizes heavy artillery and fatigue-clad men and women. Rather, battles are also waged on a new frontier: the Internet, where cyberterrorism and hacks have become a very different, but equally concerning threat to our national security. In recent years, China has repeatedly come under fire for its alleged involvement in cyberattacks and spying against the U.S. government, but lately, experts say that the rate of such incidents has actually decreased. The timing of the announcement coincides serendipitously with Chinese President Xi Jinping’s impending visit to the United States on Sept. 24, where the two leaders are rumored to be discussing a cybersecurity treaty.

According to a recent Reuters report, “major intrusions” committed by Chinese hackers in American computer systems seem to have waned in the last few months. “The pace of new breaches feels like it’s tempering,” Kevin Mandia, founder of Mandiant, a company that investigates corporate breaches, told the news source. “In my gut, I feel like the Chinese and the U.S. over the next couple of years are going to figure this out.”

Related Videos

Despite the optimism displayed by private sector experts, government officials have remained mum on the subject, with the FBI declining to comment late last week. The issue of cybersecurity has been a point of contention in political negotiations between the two powerful nations, and in the recent GOP debate, China’s supposed role in recent attacks even drew the suggestion that American leaders cancel the upcoming meeting with President Xi Jinping. Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker insisted, “When it comes to China, why are we giving an official  state visit to a country that’s been involved in a massive cyberattack against the United States. That’s not just a visit, it’s a 21-gun salute on the south lawn of the White House. That just doesn’t make any sense.”

Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, on the other hand, disagreed. “We need to be strong against China. We should use offensive tactics as it relates to cybersecurity to send a deterrent signal to China,” he noted. “There should be stiffer sanctions than what President Obama has proposed. There’s many other tools than we have without canceling a dinner. That’s not gonna change anything.”

But hopefully, if the rate of attacks really has gone down, then maybe things are changing already.

Editors' Recommendations

PayPal’s new Rewards feature adds Honey shopping discounts

PayPal acquired rewards platform Honey several years ago and this week it announced it's folding Honey's features and services into its own platform as part of the new "PayPal Rewards" offering.

Honey is a popular browser extension that trawls the web in search of deals, coupons, and promotional codes. It means that from this week, all earned points, gift cards, and PayPal shopping credits acquired in Honey will now be viewable in a new Rewards section in the main PayPal app, making it easier for users to manage their related finances while also taking advantage of new ways to earn points.

Read more
New phishing method looks just like the real thing, but it steals your passwords
A MacBook with Google Chrome loaded.

Thanks to a new phishing method, hackers could steal all sorts of personal information by simply mimicking real login forms in Application Mode. This is a feature that's available in all Chromium-based browsers, which includes Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, and Brave.

Using Application Mode allows threat actors to spread highly believable-looking local login forms that look like desktop applications. In reality, all inputs are sent to a malicious attacker.

Read more
North Korean hackers create fake job offers to steal important data
A depiction of a hacker breaking into a system via the use of code.

Lazarus, a state-sponsored hacker group based in North Korea, is now using open-source software and creating fake jobs in order to spread malware, says Microsoft.

The well-known group of hackers is targeting many key industry sectors, such as technology, media entertainment, and defense, and it's using many different kinds of software to carry out these attacks.

Read more