Hackers linked to China attempted to break a cybersecurity arrangement between Beijing and Washington merely a day after the leaders of both nations declared the deal, according to a newly released investigation by an American cybersecurity company.
“We assess using a high level of assurance these intrusions were undertaken by means of a variety of different Chinese actors, including Deep Panda, which CrowdStrike has monitored for many years breaking into national-security goals of strategic relevance to China, in addition to commercial sectors for example Agriculture, Compound, Financial, Healthcare, Insurance, Legal, Technology and many others,” the company said, in its report released Monday.
Deep Panda has previously been linked to the Chinese military, and is considered to have been behind the assault on U.S. health insurance company Anthem Inc., which took place earlier this year.
Chinese efforts at cyberespionage against the U.S. have been a key sticking point in between the two nations.
Last month, just days before Chinese President Xi Jinping was scheduled to meet U.S. President Barack Obama, U.S. National Security Advisor Susan Rice warned that China’s actions in cyberspace were putting an “enormous strain” on bilateral ties.
On Sept. 25, Obama and Xi declared a new agreement banning the hacking of private companies by entities linked to either country for economic gain.
However, in accordance with the timeline of the China-linked intrusions released by CrowdStrike, “commercial entities that fit directly within the hacking prohibitions covered under the Cyber understanding” are still being targeted.
“The intrusion attempts are continuing to this day, with many of the China-affiliated celebrities persistently attempting to recover access to casualty networks even in the face of continued failures,” the company, which employs former FBI and NSA cyberexperts, said, in its report. Still, it didn’t name the firms that were targeted.