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Chinese hacking attempts on American corporate intellectual property have occurred with regularity over the past three weeks, suggesting that China almost immediately began violating its newly minted cyberagreement with the United States, according to a newly published analysis by a cybersecurity company with close ties to the U.S. government.
The Irvine, California-based company, CrowdStrike, says it documented seven Chinese cyberattacks against U.S. technology and pharmaceuticals companies "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."
"We've seen no change in behavior," said Dmitri Alperovich, a founder of CrowdStrike who wrote one of the first public accounts of commercial cyberespionage linked to China in 2011.
One attack came on Sept. 26, CrowdStrike says, the day after President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping announced their deal in the White House Rose Garden. CrowdStrike, which employs former FBI and National Security Agency cyberexperts, did not name the corporate victims, citing client confidentiality. And the company says it detected and thwarted the attacks before any corporate secrets were stolen.
A senior Obama administration official, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not allowed to discuss the matter publicly, told the AP officials are aware of the report but would not comment on its conclusions. The official did not dispute them, however.
The U.S. will continue to directly raise concerns regarding cybersecurity with the Chinese, monitor the country's cyberactivities closely and press China to abide by all of its commitments, the official told the AP.