Security firm report: China may already be breaking agreement on hacking

President Xi and President Obama agreed to stop commercial cyber-espionage. But that doesn’t mean that it’s stopped. And CrowdStrike says it hasn’t.

Late last month, President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jingping announced that they had reached an agreement that the two countries would not conduct economic espionage or hack commercial targets. But just one day later, China-based hackers attempted to breach the network of a US technology company, according to a report published today by the security firm CrowdStrike.

“Over the last three weeks, the CrowdStrike Falcon platform has detected and prevented a number of intrusions into our customers’ systems from actors we have affiliated with the Chinese government,” Dimitri Alperovitch, the chief technology officer of CrowdStrike, wrote in a blog post today. “Seven of the companies are firms in the Technology or Pharmaceuticals sectors, where the primary benefit of the intrusions seems clearly aligned to facilitate theft of intellectual property and trade secrets, rather than to conduct traditional national-security related intelligence collection, which the Cyber agreement does not prohibit.”

The White House fact sheet on the summary of agreements made during President Xi’s visit states, “The United States and China agree that neither country’s government will conduct or knowingly support cyber-enabled theft of intellectual property, including trade secrets or other confidential business information, with the intent of providing competitive advantages to companies or commercial sectors.”

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