Obama administration confirms drop in Chinese cyber attacks

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A top Obama administration official on Tuesday confirmed private sector reports that Chinese hacking had plummeted in the past year.

“It seems like there has been a change in activity,” U.S. Assistant Attorney General John Carlin told a crowd at a Center for Strategic and International Studies event. “There is a debate as to how long lasting it might be, but there has been a change”

Last week, the security firm FireEye reported that attacks from China-based groups may have dropped as much as 90 percent over the last two years.

Carlin also predicted that hacking sanctions against other countries – which were outlined in an executive order in April of last year but have never be enforced –  would begin being a more commonplace occurrence. The order gives the secretary of the Treasury, “in consultation with the Attorney General and the Secretary of State,” the ability to impose sanctions. 

“If we’re going to have the world where the norm is enforced, once we start using it, it has to become a regular part of business,” he said. 


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