Medius Research: Report Says Chinese Military Likely Behind Cyber Espionage and Attacks

July 6, 2010

WASHINGTON, July 6 /PRNewswire/ — A report by an independent research firm concludes that the Chinese military, the People’s Liberation Army, is likely behind many recent episodes of cyber espionage and cyber intrusions against the United States.

The white paper was assembled over several months by a small team of journalists and researchers, reviewing military, academic, technical and government documents as well as interviewing government sources. The paper is being made available to Congress this week. It was underwritten by Patriot Majority, an independent issue group formed in 2005 that advocates for policies that strengthen America’s national security and economy.

In early 2010, major news outlets such as The New York Times and The Washington Post cited unnamed government sources as saying that a series of cyber intrusions, including against Google, were emanating from China. The New York Times followed up, citing government sources as saying that some attacks emanated from a technical school in China with connections to the People’s Liberation Army.

The U.S. Senate passed a resolution by Sen. Ted Kaufman, D-Del., asking that the government in Beijing conduct an investigation and make the results known. It did not. The white paper’s findings are that the likeliest source of these breaches – resulting in widespread loss of business and government data – is the People’s Liberation Army (PLA):

  • The PLA has a well-documented mandate to modernize its forces to include the ability to gather critical intelligence via cyber espionage as well as become proficient in cyber warfare in case of a major armed conflict.
  • In addition, a particular military installation in the South China Sea, on Hainan Island, has been the focus of much modernization work and a possible source of attacks, according to testimony provided by Canadian researchers to a congressional panel last year. Hainan has for years been the site of repeated incidents between the U.S. and Chinese militaries, too.
  • In addition, the line between China’s independent hacker culture and the government is a complex, two-way relationship in which civilians are informally contracted. However, China’s military is also busy creating cyber espionage and cyber warfare units out of civilian companies as part of its modernization.
  • There is an extensive body of evidence going back 15 years of increased Chinese military proficiency, both for intelligence-gathering as well as training for armed conflict. In interviews on background, U.S. government officials reach the same conclusions as the authors of the report, by asking: “Who benefits from these attacks?”
  • The white paper notes that cyber espionage is part of a large, unprecedented wave of intelligence-gathering being directed by Beijing at the United States. The paper notes changes in Chinese intelligence-gathering and a number of arrests and criminal prosecutions currently underway by the U.S. Justice Department.
  • Finally, cyber espionage is wreaking a substantial financial cost. One estimate puts the cost at $200 billion per year — for the United States alone. The paper concludes that policymakers should hold open hearings on meeting the recommendations of the U.S. China Commission, specifically in regard to cyber espionage and intelligence gathering by China against the United States.

The lead investigator of the paper is available for interviews. An executive summary of the paper may be obtained at Scribd.com and a full report is available to credentialed media by contacting the press contact above. Additionally, a syndicated opinion article by the lead investigator is now appearing in leading newspapers in Canada and the United States.

Medius Research is a privately-held, boutique research company which provides objective insight, analysis and survey research for companies and non-profit institutions. Its clients include leaders in financial services, technology and energy, as well as news organizations and publishers.

SOURCE Medius Research

Source: newswire

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