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February 2019, Vol. 20, No. 1

Battling nation-state cyberattacks in a federal leadership vacuum

In his first state visit to the United States, Chinese President Xi Jinping landed in Seattle on Sept. 22, 2015, to deliver a strong cybersecurity statement to U.S. technology companies. He pledged China would not hack for commercial advantage. "China is a staunch defender of cybersecurity -- it is also a victim of hacking," President Xi said. "The Chinese government will not, in whatever form, engage in commercial thefts or encourage or support such attempts by anyone. Both commercial cybertheft and hacking against government networks are crimes that must be punished in accordance with law and relevant international treaties." Three days later, President Xi and U.S. President Barack Obama agreed both countries would work together to stem "malicious cyber activities" and refrain from "conduct[ing] or knowingly support[ing] cyber-enabled theft of intellectual property." At first, the U.S.-China Cyber Agreement seemed to curtail prolific Chinese cyber operations, according to cybersecurity firms. But following the recent trade ...

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