A new report issued by Mandiant Corp, an American computer and technology security firm, has found that an alarming number of cyberattacks against the United States are linked to China's People's Liberation Army. According to the study, 141 U.S. companies have had their data breached or stolen since 2006.
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"On the outskirts of Shanghai, in a run-down neighborhood dominated by a 12-story white office tower, sits a People’s Liberation Army base for China’s growing corps of cyberwarriors," reports The New York Times which got an exclusive sneak peak at Mandiant's findings. "A growing body of digital forensic evidence — confirmed by American intelligence officials who say they have tapped into the activity of the army unit for years — leaves little doubt that an overwhelming percentage of the attacks on American corporations, organizations and government agencies originate in and around the white tower."
Mandiant found that a group referred to as APT1, or Advanced Persistent Threat 1, is targeting sensitive corporate data and critical U.S. infrastructure.
"In over 97% of the 1,905 times Mandiant observed APT1 intruders connecting to their attack infrastructure, APT1 used IP addresses registered in Shanghai and systems set to use the Simplified Chinese language," writes Mandiant. "The size of APT1’s infrastructure implies a large organization with at least dozens, but potentially hundreds of human operators."
Republican chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Representative Mike Rogers of Michigan, told the New York Times that Mandiant's report is “completely consistent with the type of activity the Intelligence Committee has been seeing for some time.”
These findings come at a time when hacking attacks have topped headlines for weeks. Meanwhile, a new report by the National Intelligence Estimate confirms that China is America's biggest cyber threat.
Not surprisingly, China denies the claims made by Mandiant, reports The Wall Street Journal. "Cyberattacks are anonymous and transnational and it is hard to trace the origin of attacks, so I don't know how the findings of the report are credible," said a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson.
The country also blames the U.S. for a number of attacks on its soil, but would not say whether they believed the attacks were carried out by the U.S. Government.
Watch the accompanying video to hear The Daily Ticker's Henry Blodget discuss the issue with Yahoo! Finance senior columnist Michael Santoli.
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