Chinese Cyber-Spies Target Asian Neighbors

By John Hultquist

John Hultquist is the Manager of Analysis at FireEye where leads the intelligence analysis team that tracks cyber espionage threats for government and commercial clients. Prior to its acquisition by FireEye, Hultquist lead iSIGHT Partners' cyber espionage practice and was responsible for creating the Cyber Espionage reporting line. He has over nine years' experience in covering emerging threats in cyber espionage and hacktivism, working in senior intelligence analysis positions in the U.S. government prior to iSIGHT Partners. Before working in the cyber realm, he worked with the ISACs and was involved in counterinsurgency operations in the U.S. Army.

It has been three years since the Obama Administration publically indicted five Chinese military officials for hacking U.S. companies, a move that prompted negotiations to halt economic cyber espionage intended to benefit Chinese economic competitiveness. The Cipher Brief spoke with John Hultquist, the Manager of Analysis at FireEye, about the current state of Chinese economic espionage and its apparent decline in the West despite being previously referred to as the most significant transfer of wealth in modern history.

The Cipher Brief: Could you describe, from a historical perspective, how Chinese cyber espionage has evolved over time? What is it primarily trying to accomplish, and where are attacks occurring?

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