25 Mar 2013

Chinese University Conducts Security Research with Military ‘Hackers’


An important Chinese university conducted research on network security with an army unit accused of hacking the US, according to Security Week. The AFP linked Shanghai Jiao Tong University with the People's Liberation Army (PLA) Unit 61398, after it discovered several papers on the university’s website.

The oldest projects date to 2007, and research topics include the design of an intrusion monitoring system for computer networks and the evaluation of “attack graphs.” One of the University researchers has also developed a “cyber-penetration attack platform” for China.

The military group was recently accused of hacking systems of several American companies. A US security firm said it pinpointed the origin of the cyber-attacks to Shanghai, where the PLA Unit is headquartered.

Mandiant, the company investigating the breaches at The New York Times and The Washington Post, accused the PLA of committing “systematic cyber espionage and data theft against worldwide organizations." It also said the army unit has thousands of employees and is helped by the Chinese Telecom with special fiber optic infrastructure.

China has denied the hacking accusations, and has said most cyber-attacks on its military originate in the US. Last week, Barack Obama met the new President Xi Jinping and discussed cybersecurity.