Evidence implicates Chinese government in hacking attacks against U.S.

You'll have to be living under a rock to have missed the hoopla this year about alleged Chinese hackers attacking – and sometimes infiltrating – American media companies and other such businesses. The New York Times, Washington Post, and Wall Street Journal have all stated this year that they were the target of attacks that originated from China. Although it has long been speculated that the Chinese government is responsible, evidence has now been revealed that confirms this.

According to the New York Times, American security firm Mandiant will be releasing a 60-page report detailing a link between the Chinese hacking groups and the Chinese government. In particular, the attacks are believed to originate from an office building near Shanghai, the functioning HQ for the People's Liberation Army Unit 61398.

The Chinese government still adamantly denies the allegations, but Mandiant's founder Kevin Mandia puts it into perspective. "Either they are coming from inside Unit 61398, or the people who run the most controlled, most-monitored Internet networks in the world are clueless about thousands of people generating attacks from this one neighborhood."

According to a source who spoke with the Times, multiple security agencies and all intelligence agencies within in the United States believe that the Chinese hacking groups from which these attacks originate are either working as contractors for Unit 61398, or are being run by the military. Although evidence shows that one of the hacking groups in question – Command Crew – was not responsible for attacking the Times, it does show several other targets that have been affected, including such big names as Coca-Cola, as well as more important targets, such as the infrastructure that controls our electricity, water, and gas.

[via New York Times]