WASHINGTON, D.C. – The amount of China-directed commercial cyber espionage has declined dramatically since the September 2015 cyber agreement between US President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping, Fire Eye threat analyst, William Glass said at an Atlantic Council conference.

“We saw a dramatic decline in activity that we have seen for recognized compromises of corporate networks that we can trace back to, or suspect we can trace back to Chinese organisations or China-sponsored groups,” Glass stated on Tuesday.

The private cyber security analyst noted that Fire Eye documented an 80 percent decline in Chinese-directed commercial cyber espionage since the Obama-Xi agreement was reached last year.

The reasons for the decline are less clear, Glass explained, noting that cyber attacks may be “less voluminous but more targeted,” against specific industries.

Former Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency advisor Denise Zheng noted that another reason for the decline in Chinese cyber espionage is “the Chinese are seeing diminished return.”

In higher value industries including artificial intelligence, and biotechnology, it is “not as easy to steal” trade secrets, Zheng added.

Beginning in June, US and Chinese officials began a bilateral format to discuss economic and cyber-related issues aimed at establishing norms of practice in cyberspace.

– Sputnik

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