US claims Chinese military is on new cyber offensive against America


Officials within the United States government say hackers from China have renewed their assault on US targets only three months after a highly-touted investigation linked the People’s Liberation Army to a series of cyberattacks waged at American entities.

According to the New York Times, computer security experts and US officials alike say the PLA’s sophisticated cyber squadron is attempting to hack American businesses after a brief hiatus.

Earlier this year, the Times cited a report by Northern Virginia security firm Mandiant when they alleged that Chinese hackers targeted businesses and government agencies inside the US, as well as a Canadian utility company and others. Mandiant said in the February report that the PLA “Unit 61398” group compromised 141 companies across 20 major industries during the last few years, infecting the computers at Coca-Cola, the Canadian arm of Telvent and others.

Earlier this month, the US Department of Defense threw its weight behind Mandiant’s claims, and for the first time ever the administration of President Barack Obama accused China of cybercrimes.

In 2012, numerous computer systems around the world, including those owned by the US government, continued to be targeted for intrusions, some of which appear to be attributable directly to the Chinese government and military,” the Pentagon wrote.

Now, the chief executive at Mandiant and a number of US officials admit that China relaxed its campaign after the February report was published — only to have already returned to its hacking ways weeks later.

They dialed it back for a little while, though other groups that also wear uniforms didn’t even bother to do that,” CEO Kevin Mandia told the Times on Friday. “I think you have to view this as the new normal.”

Mandia told the Times that hackers halted their operations..

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