Chinese military blamed in U.S. hacks

Feb. 19, 2013 at 5:45 PM
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ALEXANDRIA, Va., Feb. 19 (UPI) -- A report by a U.S. cybersecurity firm alleges a Chinese military unit is likely behind a cyberattack aimed at American infrastructure and corporations.

Security company Mandiant, based in Virginia, said China's Unit 61398 is responsible for stealing "hundreds of terabytes of data from at least 141 organizations," including 115 in the U.S., since 2006, ABC News reported Tuesday.

"Once [Unit 61398] has established access [to a target network], they periodically revisit the victim's network over several months or years and steal broad categories of intellectual property, including technology blueprints, proprietary manufacturing processes, test results, business plans, pricing documents, partnership agreements, and emails and contact lists from victim organizations' leadership," Mandiant's report says.

Digital forensic evidence cited by Mandiant as tracking Unit 61398 to a 12-story office building in Shanghai that could employ hundreds of workers has been confirmed by American intelligence officials, The New York Times reported.

Mandiant's report comes after President Obama's State of the Union speech in which he said America must "face the rapidly growing threat from cyber attack."

The Chinese government has repeatedly denied any connection to cyberattacks and Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hong Lei said Tuesday claims made in the Mandiant report were unsupported.

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