February 19th, 2013
05:45 PM ET

Chinese military accused of cyber espionage

A new report claims China's army is behind some of the world's most prolific computer hackers.
U.S.-based cybersecurity firm, Mandiant, says it tracked hacking activity to an area near Shanghai. Specifically, to a building used by a secret division of the Chinese military.

Mandiant calls the hacking group APT1. The report includes details about the methods used by APT1 to target its victims. It concludes the group operates with support from the Chinese government.

The company's vice president Grady Summers welcomed other researchers to scrutinize the data in the report. He said, "These accusations are not at all baseless. They are very well-rooted in fact, and very prudent actually."

China has questioned the evidence in the report. Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei also denied allegations of hacking. He argues that China is a frequent victim of cyberattacks originating from the United States.

Summers concedes that hacking happens from all corners of the Internet. But he says, "We're stating very clearly that this is asymmetric, that China is attacking the U.S. on a scale like we've never seen before."

Mandiant counted 141 victims of APT1 over six years. Of those, 115 were based in the United States.

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