Print 25 comment(s) - last by BifurcatedBoat.. on Feb 20 at 1:09 PM

Unit 61398  (Source:
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

Comments     Threshold

This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

Big surprise
By Netscorer on 2/19/2013 1:57:20 PM , Rating: 4
So, you are telling me that CIA and US military intelligence are not involved in hacking foreign governments and organizations? I'm shocked! Or maybe American corporations are not involved in industrial espionage? This is outrageous!
Oh, wait...

RE: Big surprise
By Jeffk464 on 2/19/2013 5:13:19 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, but if we are stealing IP its from Europe, Japan, or Korea, not from China.

RE: Big surprise
By chick0n on 2/19/2013 7:43:01 PM , Rating: 2
so u are saying its totally ok for us to steal from others?

stealing is nothing new, everybody did it at least once, by doing so they can get the nation's attention overseas --- not focusing on how useless this government has become

RE: Big surprise
By geddarkstorm on 2/20/2013 12:48:45 AM , Rating: 2
He isn't saying its ok to steal from others, just that China isn't an other we'd ever bother to steal from other than just general "what are they up to militarily/politically".

As Civilization 5's expansion would put it... "{1_SpyRank} {2_SpyName} cannot steal technologies from 'China' because we have completely eclipsed them in research!"

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.

By rbsguy on 2/19/2013 12:11:30 PM , Rating: 5
This is pretty much the scenario of the latest Tom Clancy book, "Threat Vector"

By Spookster on 2/19/2013 1:42:13 PM , Rating: 1
What did they steal from Canada, their maple syrup recipe?

By Jeffk464 on 2/19/2013 5:16:02 PM , Rating: 2
Hmm, Canada uses all of our latest military systems and bombardier is up there in high tech. My guess is that Canada produces lots of top notch engineers, probably half of which end up working for US corporations.

By Spookster on 2/20/2013 12:21:49 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah they need all that tech to keep those polar bears in check eh.

Where's our efforts?
By Pneumothorax on 2/19/2013 12:10:18 PM , Rating: 1
How come we're just sitting here on our hands while we do nothing for retaliation? Since the Chicoms love to pirate Windows, why aren't the feds collaborating with M$soft in putting trojans on pirated Chinese versions of windows to bring these bastards down?

RE: Where's our efforts?
By Flunk on 2/19/2013 12:15:36 PM , Rating: 2
How do you know they're not?

RE: Where's our efforts?
By mars2k on 2/19/13, Rating: -1
RE: Where's our efforts?
By Jeffk464 on 2/19/2013 5:11:52 PM , Rating: 2
hacking them doesnt prevent them from hacking us. The fact is currently we are ahead in technology so they can only win in this war over stolen intellectual property. What new piece of tech are we going to steal from them? I'm sure once China is completely caught up or ahead they will start getting serious about respecting and enforcing intellectual property.

4000 more
By Uncle on 2/19/13, Rating: 0
RE: 4000 more
By sixteenornumber on 2/19/2013 4:13:05 PM , Rating: 2
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
By Micronite on 2/19/2013 4:15:14 PM , Rating: 1
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.

We might be a wee bit hypocritical
By Danger D on 2/19/2013 2:57:24 PM , Rating: 2
"In the past, security researchers who stumbled on a software flaw would typically report the flaw to the manufacturer of the software, so it could be fixed. That changed, however, when cyberweapon designers started looking at these flaws as vulnerabilities that could serve as a back door into a computer network. Most prized of all were "zero day vulnerabilities" — flaws whose existence was previously unknown.

Richard Bejtlich was a cyber specialist for the U.S. Air Force in the 1990s, a time when the U.S. military was going on the offense in the cyberwar. He remembers the day he realized how important a software vulnerability can be to a cyberweapons designer."


No *@*$ sherlock
By mike66 on 2/19/2013 5:06:03 PM , Rating: 2
This article is not explaining anything new, china denies, america accuses,me I accuse the designers of the hardware and software, ever hear of a major bank being hacked and have all it's funds stolen,I think not, Are we learning yet!

Tom Clancy's novel
By Noonecares on 2/19/2013 8:40:59 PM , Rating: 2
I guess Threat Vector is a now a non-fiction book.

nothing new
By Shadowmaster625 on 2/20/2013 8:24:44 AM , Rating: 2
The governments of china and the US have both been at war with the US people for many decades now. Isnt it obvious? (By their deeds you shall know them.) It is just becoming more overt now.

Of course they are
By BifurcatedBoat on 2/20/2013 1:09:06 PM , Rating: 2
We have never been allied with China. They are all too happy to take our money, but that doesn't mean leadership of the two nations sees eye to eye.

OTOH, even if we were allies, that probably wouldn't have made a difference anyway.

"Young lady, in this house we obey the laws of thermodynamics!" -- Homer Simpson

Most Popular ArticlesAre you ready for this ? HyperDrive Aircraft
September 24, 2016, 9:29 AM
Leaked – Samsung S8 is a Dream and a Dream 2
September 25, 2016, 8:00 AM
Yahoo Hacked - Change Your Passwords and Security Info ASAP!
September 23, 2016, 5:45 AM
A is for Apples
September 23, 2016, 5:32 AM
Walmart may get "Robot Shopping Carts?"
September 17, 2016, 6:01 AM

Copyright 2016 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki