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Unit 61398  (Source: graphics8.nytimes.com)
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.

Source: Reuters



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RE: Big surprise
By JonnyDough on 2/20/2013 4:20:21 AM , Rating: 2
You don't know what you're talking about. The U.S. is heavy on protecting IP. China could care less. You go anywhere overseas and it's all bootleg material. Even the cars they drive are often look-alike copies of what we produce. China cares NOTHING about the West or it's profits. It has absolutely no respect for international trade it only wants to be #1. The United States has gained its wealth over the last century partly from agriculture, as we have historically produced about four times what we consume. The ratio has changed, but we still export food. A lot of the rest of what we have sold to other nations is machinery and technology. Weapons too, of course. During WWII we became experts of weaponry to stop Hitler and it didn't stop. Aviation was a huge part of that, and with Great Britian's shared knowledge, and the taking of German aerospace technology we became THE aviation leader. Anyway, China cares little about what we own. They want to take it. Maybe you didn't hear about the huge problem with a little Japanese isle lately? They want everything.


RE: Big surprise
By 1prophet on 2/20/2013 5:22:16 AM , Rating: 5
If you sleep with a prostitute don't start complaining that she stole your wallet and gave you AIDS,

Americans and their corporations along with their bought and paid of politicians brought this on themselves in the name of profits and cheap junk and now they are crying about the injustice of it all.


RE: Big surprise
By Jeffk464 on 2/20/2013 9:24:51 AM , Rating: 3
Yup, like you said Corporations and their politicians sold out the american worker a long time ago.


RE: Big surprise
By pugster on 2/20/2013 7:25:01 AM , Rating: 3
The US has engaged in Commercial Spying decades ago long before the China has allegedly done so using ECHELON.


RE: Big surprise
By Strunf on 2/20/2013 8:05:16 AM , Rating: 2
It's you who don't know what you're talking about.

The US does and has always been stealing stuff from others and vice-versa, your cars analogy is a poor choice to say the least, major US automakers are also present elsewhere so it's normal some models do look a like it would quite dumb for a company to not try to normalize their production, however there are probably dozens of car models only available in the EU while the US has nothing like that, small cars in the US were for a long time either from a EU automaker or Japanese, it's not a question of leading technology but of consumer taste, and Americans unlike Europeans or Japanese aren't big fans of small compact cars.


"So if you want to save the planet, feel free to drive your Hummer. Just avoid the drive thru line at McDonalds." -- Michael Asher














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