As the official visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping in the United States draws closer, security experts claim that the hacking activity coming from China is tuned down.
American President Barack Obama already made numerous statements advocating the creation of a global framework that would keep the Internet away from becoming "weaponized," especially at a critical level. The underlying message is that the U.S. could respond in full to the state-backed-hacking which China is renowned for.
Obama emphasized that cybersecurity will be an essential discussion subject with President Jinping, expected to arrive in Washington, D.C. later this week.
"The pace of new breaches feels like it's tempering," Kevin Mandia, founder of Mandiant says.
Mandiant investigated a number of high-level security breaches, such as the ones at Sony Pictures Entertainment and Target. The data collected by the cybersecurity specialists corroborate with information from other investigations and most of them lead to China as the hackers' base of operation.
"In my gut, I feel like the Chinese and the U.S. over the next couple of years are going to figure this out," Mandia says.
Intellectual property is a major target for the cyber-attacks and the Obama administration considered enforcing international sanctions against the Chinese entities that benefited from them. So far, no such action was taken as there is no consensus over the utility of such measures.
John Carlin, U.S. Assistant Attorney General, leader of the Department's National Security Division will talk to the press on Wednesday about the subject of cybersecurity. It is likely, voices inside the Justice Department say, that the subject of cyber espionage will come up. The U.S. charged five Chinese army officers of such transgressions in May 2014.
Head of cybersecurity at Trend Micro Inc., Tom Kellermann, admitted to seeing the number of Chinese hacking attempts diminished; however he claims that a breach in the U.S. defense contractors' files might endanger the safety of government programs and personnel.
"There's been a consolidation in activity coming out of China," Kellermann says.
Michael Daniel, who coordinates the cybersecurity policies of the White House, stated that the lower number of hackings is a way for Chinese officials to appease the U.S. complaints about constant economic cyber harassment.
Contacted on Friday, the FBI refused to make any comment on the subject.