Report: Chinese military engaged in 'extensive cyber espionage campaign'
February 19th, 2013
01:31 AM ET

Report: Chinese military engaged in 'extensive cyber espionage campaign'

By CNN Money's Charles Riley

An American cybersecurity firm has linked one of the world's most prolific groups of computer hackers to the Chinese government, saying in a new report that an extensive cyber-espionage campaign is being waged from a location near Shanghai.

The security firm, Mandiant, detailed the allegations in a 60-page report published Tuesday that describes the group's tactics and history over a six-year period.

The Virginia-based Mandiant, which helps companies detect and respond to cyber threats, said it has observed the group of hackers - called the "comment crew" - systematically steal hundreds of terabytes of data from at least 141 organizations across 20 industries worldwide since 2006.

Mandiant claims the activity can be traced to four networks near Shanghai - with some operations taking place in a location that is also the headquarters of Unit 61398, a secret division of China's military.


Filed under: China • Cybersecurity
soundoff (69 Responses)
  1. Alex279

    It would be so nice if all the wars from now on will be fought this way: VIRTUALLY.

    February 20, 2013 at 1:21 pm | Reply
  2. musician1

    not surprised by this at all

    February 20, 2013 at 3:20 am | Reply
  3. fugthechnx

    Anybody still buying Chinese garbage after this should be tried for treason.

    February 19, 2013 at 6:55 pm | Reply
    • George Patton-2

      Here we go again with another senseless comment like the one above from another mindless Tea Partier like this fugthechnx!!!

      February 20, 2013 at 1:41 pm | Reply
  4. ?

    china thinks they are all that with half the worlds population, lots of fuel, food and jobs to make and make no mistake about it, the chinese have stretched their hand into africa and south america for resources, they seem pretty bent on their all mighty trip, this is what we should do, what do we as americans consume more than everybody else, everything, about seven times more than rest of the world, MADE IN CHINA, they have the nerve to stick their noise into our private business, lets guarentee china never gets a functional social security, lets hit them were societies and governments collapse, when they fail to keep their people happy, lets take away some of them jobs, they are weak, too much fuel and food,

    February 19, 2013 at 4:37 pm | Reply
    • ?

      my statement is right for reasons outside the little cyber attack, right now china's military has a small professional wing to it (aircraft carriers, ect.) and a very large foot infantry, china is in no place to wage war, they can't sustain war outside their own region (vietnam, korea), but in 50 years they will likely be the ultimate superpower due to catching up on development and sheer numbers, we should try to stop that now before it's to late, but who knows right we currently have the best, like i said earlier, we consume a lot more and the majority of countries that come in second – tenth are like brothers to us, we all need to ban together to ensure one half of the world doesn't get too big of a head, china has actually started to colonize parts of africa (very racist towards blacks by the way, for some reason they think whitty must agree so always they say bad things about the blacks but anyways that just shows their lack of righteous authority in the world, that and the obedient role women must play) seriously, we want china to stay undeveloped, the rest of the world's consumers must stick together on this (HALF) and why does our government still treat the russians like outsiders, we neglect our greatest potential ally in the whole world, russia and america together is an unstoppable force, but nato neglects them still today so they turn to alliances with the shanghai five, stupid politicians in washington, they have stuck our military out for almost 12 years now, i remember when 30 days was standard, and what really gets me is the war in afghanistan is actually the war against the tribal bases (the whole 30 days thing again or maybe even 15 minutes) but you know what we haven't even had to call up the draft yet so i would say we have a strong cushion their, no more MADE IN CHINA, lets keep them in the stone age

      February 19, 2013 at 5:41 pm | Reply
      • Pete

        @?,you will never curtail the population growth of countries like China or India unless you do it by systematic elimination by germ warfare or nuclear air strikes with ICBMs..Just let nature takes its course and they'll eventually like rats resort to killing themselves off in the survival of the fittest...It's bound to happen and we must stop handing out aid to countries who can't say no to families of multiple children when they themselves are starving ,its the highest form of human ignorence making babies while struggling themselves for a meager scrap of food or water to survive!!You don't want a repeat of Hitlers holocaust do yah,God forbid I surely don't...And remember how our own country gets into wars,a form of population control,just put that out there for all to think over!!!

        February 20, 2013 at 2:11 pm |
  5. Clinton

    The US needs to stop binding it's own hands in this fight, China has been conducting industrial espionage and spying on our Government using cyber attacks for far too long without a legitimate response, it's time to act, not through the public, not through diplomacy but by utilizing our own cyber capabilities... respond by using our resources to attack their cyber activities.... Plant viruses in Chinese systems, overrun their cyber defenses and start publishing their state secrets... this is a cyber-war, it's time we fought back... we shouldn't need a cyber "Pearl Harbor" to get this Government to react to what's happening... it's a new age, information is vital, we need to keep our country's secrets our own and prevent this country from continuing to benefit from our Intellectual property..... Do it !!! start now!!!

    February 19, 2013 at 4:02 pm | Reply
    • Mark

      Gee whiz Clinton, do you really believe that mumbo-jumbo you posted above? We've been hacking into their systems long before they started hacking into ours, if they're doing it at all. This fear mongering toward the Chinese only works for the benefit of the neocons in Washington. Don't believe them!

      February 19, 2013 at 4:39 pm | Reply
  6. Tembisa

    Reblogged this on World Chaos.

    February 19, 2013 at 3:16 pm | Reply
  7. Joseph McCarthy

    Another classic example of how the right-wing news media is trying to give rise to groundless fears among the American public. Did anyone notice how this same media didn't mention STUXNET for example and how it attacked the Iranian network or the cyber attacks we've conducting toward Russia, China, Iraq before the 2003 invasion, Iran and a host of other countries? I guess not!

    February 19, 2013 at 1:56 pm | Reply
    • Clinton

      Hey moron, The only reason you know about stuxnet is because of the "Right wing media" so get off it... American Hating idiots like you are all the same... you try to turn every offense from another nation around and blame the U.S. for it... Sorry dbag, the truth about China is OBVIOUS, we're not their only victims either, they have been stealing from our nation for decades, They do not care about the rest of the world's laws and they do not care that they are stealing foreign companies Intellectual Property, they're illegally attacking foreign Government's internal networks... no matter what stupid excuse you try to make, the Chinese are commiting state sponsored criminal acts against the United States and other countries on a daily basis and they need to pay for their crimes.

      February 19, 2013 at 4:25 pm | Reply
      • George Patton

        the d-bag is Pakistani.

        February 19, 2013 at 6:46 pm |
  8. Hahahahahahahah

    Maybe it's time we "unplugged" them!!! Hahahahahahahahaha

    February 19, 2013 at 9:10 am | Reply
  9. MRMcCaffery

    Besides hacking our industry and government networks on a daily basis, China is now the world's top polluter with their reliance on brown coal which poison's their own cities, the top supporter of the radical regime in North Korea, the top destabilizer of decades of peaceful coexistence in the South China Sea, and the top trade cheat-demanding foreign firms hand over proprietary technology to do business in China. We need to send their students home and stop playing nice with the ruthless Communist Party leaders for once.

    February 19, 2013 at 8:04 am | Reply
    • Alex279

      "Besides hacking... China is now the world's top polluter with their reliance on brown coal" - true, but to be fair China works hard to correct the problem by building nuclear power plants on unprecedented scale, contracting all major companies with nuclear experiences, including France, Russia, and even US (Westinghouse). How many new nuclear power plants we built on US soil during the last 35 years? Is it ... none? zero?

      February 20, 2013 at 1:27 pm | Reply
  10. UncSam

    China only understands force. The US needs to start whooping some Chinese b. They started this war, and not just with the US but every nation. Put up the missle shield and start sending in the cruise missles. Start with the comment crew HQ in Shanghai.

    February 19, 2013 at 3:56 am | Reply
    • Joseph McCarthy

      Thank you UncSam, for displaying your ignorance on this web page. Judging by what you posted above, it appears that you never got past the 5th grade in school!

      February 19, 2013 at 1:59 pm | Reply

Post a comment


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.