A group of hackers supposedly affiliated with the Chinese military has spent years infiltrating the American aerospace industry and US trading partners in the space industry, a US cybersecurity company CrowdStrike said Monday. Officials from CrowdStrike accused the Shanghai-based unit 61486 of the People’s Liberation Army 12th bureau of attacking American and other western networks in cyber-assaults that date back at least as far as to 2007, according to reports.
The space, aerospace and communications sectors were targeted via “popular productivity applications such as Adobe Reader and Microsoft Office to deploy custom malware through targeted email attacks,” CrowdStrike said, according to a Reuters report. The group in question is unofficially known as Putter Panda. A full list of accusations, including phishing emails and Trojan horse documents were outlined in a 62-page report published Monday by CrowdStrike, which conducts forensic investigations for customers who have endured invasive security breaches. When a target downloads or clicks on a certain document, for instance, they could find their entire computer taken over. The hackers then use that power to steal housing blueprints, consumer lists, servers, and other sensitive data, Ars Technica reported. “Putter Panda is a determined adversary group, conducting intelligence-gqathering operations targeting the Government, Defense, Research, and Technology sectors in the United States, with specific targeting of the US Defense and European satellite and aerospace industries,” the researchers wrote. “The PLA’s GSD Third Department is generally acknowledged to be China’s premier Signals Intelligence (SIGINT) collection and analysis agency, and the 12th Bureau Unit 61486, headquartered in Shanghai, supports China’s space surveillance network.” CrowdStrike’s report, which the company said it is publishing to show how deeply the problem is entrenched, comes less than three weeks after the US Justice Department, in a surprise move, unsealed indictments against five members of a People’s Liberation Army hacker unit that allegedly stole trade secrets from the US.
China is rushing to modernize and improve its military capabilities, according to an annual US Department of Defense report to Congress. The “Military and Security Developments Involving the Peoples Republic of China for 2014” report said China is also preparing for contingencies in the South and East China Seas where Beijing has been involved in increasingly tense territorial disputes with its neighbors
Chinas military industry has over the last five years supplied major weapons to 35 developing countries. While there are no official figures of actual sales, experts estimate this number to be in the billions
The Chinese firm that won the $3.4 billion Turkish missile tender has not yet met all conditions of the RFP to build a missile defence system, according to Reuters
China is building underwater surveillance systems to detect submarines and began developing the project in 2011. The system is apparently similar to the one used by the US during the Cold War
The Chinese navy gave US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel a tour of its new aircraft carrier on Monday in a move toward building stronger US-China ties. Hagel praised the ship tour as a promising step forward for a fledgling US dialogue with the often secretive People's Liberation Army (PLA), but the two sides remained deeply divided on cyber-spying and regional territorial disputes, according to AFP
Dell Secureworks has identified a Chinese hacking group targeting various websites belonging to high-profile targets that include defense manufacturers in the US and the UK. The Chinese hacking group identified as Emissary Panda also identified as Threat Group 3390 has set-up various global traps to siphon off data from the websites
Chinese hackers stole 50 terabytes of US classified data related to technical details of the F-35 aircraft, classified documents released by US whistle-blower, Edward Snowden have revealed. The claim was promptly denied by the China
After #JeSuisCharlie trending on twitter, a hacktivist group Anonymous has released a YouTube video statement condemning the attacks on the French satirical magazine, Charlie Hebdo. The hacktivist group warned terrorists around the globe that it would avenge the attack on the offices of the French satirical magazine, Huffington Post reported
The US and China have launched a war of words over allegations made by a US congressional panel that Chinese government-linked hackers had launched dozens of cyberattacks on American defence contractors. Beijing has flat-out denied the charges, saying they were "fabricated out of thin air
The United States is reportedly facing a shortage of cybersecurity professionals — particularly for positions within the federal government because it does not offer salaries as high as the private sector. According to a study published by the RAND organization, the demand for cybersecurity professionals began to overtake supply in 2007, largely due to increased reports of large-scale hacking, including the leakage of credit card data, attacks on Internet connectivity, and the discovery of "advanced persistence threats" — teams of hackers who go after intellectual property by establishing a persistent presence in the networks of U
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