Chinese University Linked to the PLA
- By Ginger Hill
- Mar 27, 2013
So, I was out surfing the Net today, seeking some worthy government security news when one of my colleagues informed me that a top Chinese university has been linked to an alleged military cybercrime unit. My radar locked, and I was immediately on it.
According to CNET, Reuters uncovered that the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Unit 61398 collaborated with Shanghai Jiao Tong’s School of Information Security Engineering (SIES) to form a partnership on at least three research papers. Remember, my other article about Unit 61398? They are the ones on the outskirts of Shanghai who are likely to have hacked information from Telvent Canada, Schneider Electric. Well, anyway, Unit 61398 and the university produced papers on attack detection and computer security, utilizing the expertise of Xue Zhi, who has been credited with developing China’s leading cyberattack platform.
Now, to be fair, there is no hard evidence to prove that any of the academic parties involved are actively connected with or involved in cybercrime or military operations. But, when CNET contacted the university, Shanghai Jiao Tong University declined to comment.
The U.S. government has expressed concern about cybersecurity, and President Obama has stated that China’s alleged involvement in these networks will be addressed in future discussions between the two nations.
I’m all for innocent until proven guilty; however, it sure seems Unit 61398 has been on the radar of media sources lately. And, with the university’s refusal to comment, it seems like not talking is “fishier” than talking. I personally get an uneasy feeling about all of this. What are your thoughts?
Ginger Hill is Group Social Media Manager.