So have they or haven’t they?
Ever since President Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed last September that commercial cyberespionage for profit is off limits, experts and policymakers have asked one burning question: Has Beijing really stopped or changed its operations?
On Tuesday, US Assistant Attorney General John Carlin confirmed there had been drop in Chinese commercial cyberespionage, but added a needed note of caution: “There is a debate as to how long lasting it might be, but there has been a change.”
Mr. Carlin’s hand may have been forced by a report last week by cybersecurity firm FireEye on a staggering decline: from a plateau of around 60 to 70 compromises per month by Chinese-linked groups, the number has dropped to about five per month just two years later.
The decline started in mid-2014, following the US indictment of Chinese military hackers in May 2014 and really plummeted in July 2015, just after the Obama administration finalized sanction authority to