Industry News

Chinese Hackers Resume Attacks against US Targets

The Chinese People’s Liberation Army’s Unit 61396 is again hitting US high-profile targets, including government agencies, top tier companies and media groups, after a three-month break, according to security industry representatives and US officials.

The cyber unit of the China’s People’s Liberation Army resumed their attacks against American strategic targets with new tools and command-and-control networks, the sources said. Apparently the attacks have already reached 60 to 70 percent strength as compared to the top levels reached in the previous hits.

In 2012, computer units across the globe, including US government systems, were targets of heavy attacks later attributed to the Chinese government and army units. “These intrusions were focused on exfiltrating information. China is using its computer network exploitation (CNE) capability to support intelligence collection against the U.S. diplomatic, economic, and defense industrial base sectors that support US national defense programs,” the Pentagon reports.

It appears that the tense diplomatic relationship between the American and the Chinese administrations lead to this unfortunate outcome, the New York Times reports.

Obama administration has publicly exposed the PLA unit and its practices back in February urging the Chinese leader to stop these actions or have the Unit conduct their operations more discreetly. Moreover, the public appeals to China’s new leadership to “engage with us [the US administration] in a constructive dialogue” on the cyber security issue must have also deepen the communication gap between the two countries.

About the author


A blend of teacher and technical journalist with a pinch of e-threat analysis, Loredana Botezatu writes mostly about malware and spam. She believes that most errors happen between the keyboard and the chair. Loredana has been writing about the IT world and e-security for well over five years and has made a personal goal out of educating computer users about the ins and outs of the cybercrime ecosystem.