China Resumes Cyber-Attacks on U.S. Corporate, Government Networks
NEWS ANALYSIS: The Chinese Army added to its cyber-warfare arsenal and is attacking U.S. networks that haven't been strengthened since the last attacks.The Chinese Army suddenly stopped their cyber-attacks on the U.S. almost immediately after their actions became public in February. Then, a Pentagon report revealed that a People's Liberation Army unit on the outskirts of Shanghai and known as Unit 61398—which works out of a fortified, heavily guarded 12-story white building—was behind the broad series of attacks. Those attacks targeted intellectual property, trade secrets and classified information stored on private and government computers. Suddenly, after the attacks were made public, Unit 61398 quietly broke into the computers it had penetrated again, and removed the traces of their hacking tools. Unfortunately for the Chinese, they didn't get out soon enough. Cyber-security experts at Mandiant Corp. had already spotted the Chinese hackers at work, and had traced them back to their lair. Once again, they're back. According to a report released by Mandiant, the Chinese hacking squad took their time off to improve their tools and sharpen their skills. Now, they're hacking again. And once again they're trying to steal everything, from blueprints to trade negotiation strategies to test results. The media company that reported the return to operations by the Chinese was The New York Times, which was one of several media organizations attacked by the Chinese hackers earlier in 2013.
While the attacks aren't up to their previous levels yet, the fact is that they're just as dangerous as they were in the past. Companies that were attacked previously probably haven't had time to institute adequate defenses, and the Chinese have refined their methods to be more effective.