Private U.S. report accuses another Chinese military unit of hacking

A private U.S. cybersecurity company on Monday accused a unit of China’s military of conducting far-reaching hacking operations to advance the country’s satellite and aerospace programs. Security company CrowdStrike said Shanghai-based unit 61486 of the People’s Liberation Army 12th bureau has attacked networks of Western government agencies and defense contractors since 2007. CrowdStrike said the hacking targeted the U.S. space, aerospace and communications sectors.

The cyberspying targeted popular productivity applications such as Adobe Reader and Microsoft Office to deploy custom malware through targeted email attacks.

Cybersecurity company CrowdStrike

Less than three weeks ago the U.S. Justice Department took the unprecedented step of unsealing indictments against five members of another People’s Liberation Army unit that allege they stole trade secrets. Tensions between the U.S. and China have been escalating over cybersecurity issues. Chinese officials have already responded sharply to last month’s indictments, pulling out of talks on hacking issues and accusing the U.S. of plundering Chinese political and military secrets.

After the Chinese response, where they basically said this is all fabricated, we said why don’t we unleash something that’s undeniable.

CrowdStrike co-founder Dmitri Alperovitch (pictured above)