New hacking allegations surface against China's military

Posted by mmcmullan on 06/10/2014

Last month, the U.S. Justice Department announced the unprecedented indictments of five members of the Chinese military for hacking into civilian targets in the United States in order to steal trade secrets. That’s right: The U.S. government accused the People’s Liberation Army of engaging in industrial espionage.

China’s leaders were outraged, but if they didn’t like that, they certainly won’t like the report from a privately commissioned report that claims a second unit within the Chinese military is doing the same thing. CloudStrike, an online security firm, says this new group systematically broke into defense industry computer networks in Japan, Europe, and the U.S. for seven years. From the New York Times:

Unit 61486, researchers say, in some instances shared computing resources and communicated with members of Unit 61398, the P.L.A. unit whose members were the focus of last month’s indictments.

“If you look at all the groups that we track in China, the indictments are just the very tip of the iceberg,” said George Kurtz, a co-founder of CrowdStrike.

Remember, this year’s Justice Department indictments sprung from a report from the security firm Mandiant that was released over a year ago. Where will these CrowdStrike allegations lead?

It’s hard to say, but here’s the truth of the matter: If we want to see China curtail its hacking activity, maybe we should consider revisiting the favorable trade terms that we grant the world’s largest police state.

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