Westinghouse Electric is one of the companies that were attacked by Chinese hackers. (Photo : Getty Images)
There are speculations that U.S. President Donald Trump will not be able to stop China's cyberattacks on U.S. businesses due to his difficult relationship with China.
The speculation among cybersecurity experts is that China will backfire and resume attacks on cyberspace once President Trump pushes China too far.
Cyberattacks on American companies and the Pentagon have been going on for years. However, the attacks have dropped to 90 percent in the past year, according to Dmitri Alperovitch, co-founder of the cybersecurity firm CrowdStrike.
Another cybersecurity company, Mandiant, released a report stating that companies like U.S. Steel, Alcoa Inc., and Westinghouse Electric have seen a great decline in cyberattacks.
The great reduction of digital theft had led to a smoother relationship between China and the U.S., but the conflict between the two superpowers remain due to differences in trade policy implementation and global security issues.
Experts believe that this dispute might spur tensions related to cybersecurity and resume hacking from the Chinese.
Adam Segal, an expert on China at the nonpartisan Council on Foreign Relations, said, "If the relationship goes very sour because of either trade issues or the South China Sea or Taiwan or something like that, the hacking would be an easy way for the Chinese to express their displeasure."
He added, "It seems to have gone through a lot of swings in a very short time period."
Cybersecurity experts fear that Trump's attacks on China and his accusations of currency manipulation and violations of importation policies might trigger another upsurge of theft online.
Analysts also predict that the upcoming meeting in Florida on April 7 might cause a falling out, especially in terms of trade and cybersecurity.
Robert Silvers, a former top cybersecurity official at the Department of Homeland Security, said, "If China feels cornered in other aspects, they may decide to revisit their calculation about reducing hacking."