A US cyber security firm has confirmed what many in the west have long suspected by naming a clandestine Chinese military unit as one of the world’s ‘most prolific cyber espionage groups’.
In an unusually direct accusation Mandiant named the secretive Unit 61398 as the ‘most likely’ agency behind the systematic theft of ‘hundreds of terabytes of data’ from at least 141 organisations.
Not only was the unit outed but the security firm even traced their base to a non-descript block in Shanghai.
Commenting on its findings mandiant said that its information served to ‘convince us that the groups conducting these activities are based primarily in China and that the Chinese government is aware of them".
One of the most prolific of these actors is APT1, which Mandiant says it "a single organisation of operators that has conducted a cyber-espionage campaign against a broad range of victims since at least 2006.
"We believe that APT1 is able to wage such a long-running and extensive cyber espionage campaign in large part because it receives direct government support.”
China continues to claim that its government does not engage in hacking.