Private U.S. report accuses another Chinese military unit of hacking

Source: Reuters

A private U.S. cybersecurity company on Monday accused a unit of China’s military of conducting far-reaching hacking operations to advance the country’s satellite and aerospace programs.

Security company CrowdStrike said Shanghai-based unit 61486 of the People’s Liberation Army 12th bureau has attacked networks of Western government agencies and defense contractors since 2007.

CrowdStrike said the hacking targeted the U.S. space, aerospace and communications sectors. The cyberspying targeted “popular productivity applications such as Adobe Reader and Microsoft Office to deploy custom malware through targeted email attacks,” CrowdStrike said.

Less than three weeks ago the U.S. Justice Department took the unprecedented step of unsealing indictments against five members of another People’s Liberation Army unit that allege they stole trade secrets.

CrowdStrike said it was publicizing a report previously sent to clients to show that the issue was broader than many realize.

“After the Chinese response, where they basically said this is all fabricated, we said why don’t we unleash something that’s undeniable,” said CrowdStrike co-founder Dmitri Alperovitch. He said the company had briefed U.S. intelligence agencies before publishing its report.

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