"Secret" Chinese Military Unit May Be Behind Series of Hacks on U.S. Since 2006
February 19, 2013 11:41 AM
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It has stolen "hundreds" of terabytes of data from 141 organizations since about 2006
A U.S. security group believes that a "secret" Chinese military unit is
behind a recent series of hacks
U.S. computer security company Mandiant said that the Shanghai-based People's Liberation Army (Unit 61398) is a strong suspect behind the computer hacks occurring against a wide array of industries in the U.S.
"The nature of 'Unit 61398's' work is considered by China to be a state secret; however, we believe it engages in harmful 'Computer Network Operations'," said Mandiant. "It is time to acknowledge the threat is originating in China, and we wanted to do our part to arm and prepare security professionals to combat that threat effectively."
According to Mandiant, Unit 61398 -- which is considered a secretive military unit in Shanghai's Pudong district -- has stolen "hundreds" of terabytes of data from 141 organizations since about 2006. It has also stolen data from Canada and Britain, but mainly the U.S.
China's Defense Ministry denied having any part of the hacks, and even said that China is a victim of hacking as well.
"Hacking attacks are transnational and anonymous. Determining their origins are extremely difficult. We don't know how the evidence in this so-called report can be tenable," said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei. "Arbitrary criticism based on rudimentary data is irresponsible, unprofessional and not helpful in resolving the issue."
In fact, Lei went as far as accusing the U.S. of being behind most hacks in China. He quoted a recent Chinese study, which says the U.S. "ranks first" when it comes to computer hacks against China.
Mandiant, among other experts in the U.S., doubt China's claims.
The U.S. seems to be discussing cyber security efforts more and more these days as attacks from foreign countries and governments continue to be a problem. Last month, the Pentagon said it would
boost its cyber security unit five-fold
from 900 troops to 4,900 troops over the next several years.
Just this week, the U.S. Department of Defense said it worried that
not enough cyber experts were prepared for DOD cyber defense
DOD wants to go on a hiring spree of capable cyber experts, but current certifications/qualifications necessary to work for DOD may not be enough to prepare these experts for the job ahead of them. Hence, it's currently rewriting its
cyber workforce policy.
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2/19/2013 12:26:09 PM
4000 more, and some of the best hackers are being put into prison or committing suicide. Wake up America your going about this half ass backwards. Why doesn't the USA give these heinous hacker villains an incentive to work their way out of these 20 yr sentences, instead of shooting themselves in the foot all the time. Maybe the DOJ can threaten the Chinese hackers and a few will commit suicide. What a joke the real enemy is across the ocean and every once in awhile the DOJ charges a local hacker so they can put a feather in their cap and sing and play musical chairs in their office.
RE: 4000 more
2/19/2013 4:13:05 PM
i think there is some kind of misconception that all the good "hackers" are in prison but that just isn't the case. I believe the really good ones are out enjoying life and all the rest are a dime a dozen.
RE: 4000 more
2/19/2013 4:15:14 PM
Would you hire a convicted child molester to babysit your children? What if they were one of the best babysitters in the world?
Sure, there are a bunch of good hackers in prison and perhaps some of them would do a great job and not be a security threat. But we should be wise and use good, sound judgement.
Although, I'll also point out that by going 5x the number of people, you also increase the risk of leaks from the inside.
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