An American security firm on Tuesday alleged that a Chinese military unit was responsible for cyberattacks that targeted military contractors, energy companies and other significant industries in the United States, the Associated Press reported. The Chinese foreign ministry disputed the report, calling the allegations "groundless."
From the AP:
China has frequently been accused of hacking, but the report by Virginia-based Mandiant Corp. contains some of the most extensive and detailed accusations to date linking its military to a wave of cyberspying against U.S. and other foreign companies and government agencies.
Mandiant said it traced the hacking back to a neighborhood in the outskirts of Shanghai that includes a drab, white 12-story office building run by "Unit 61398" of the People's Liberation Army.
The unit "has systematically stolen hundreds of terabytes of data from at least 141 organizations," Mandiant wrote. By comparison, the U.S. Library of Congress 2006-2010 Twitter archive of about 170 billion tweets totals 133.2 terabytes.
"From our observations, it is one of the most prolific cyberespionage groups in terms of the sheer quantity of information stolen," the company said. It added that the unit has been in operation since at least 2006.