Chinese Military Tied to Prolific Hacking Group Targeting U.S. Aerospace Industry

In this Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2013 photo, a crew member of Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy monitors on the deck of the China's aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, sailing on the East China Sea for sea trials. The Liaoning departed for its first-ever sea trials in the South China Sea, a mission likely to draw scrutiny amid Beijing's drive to assert its claims to those waters and their island groups. (AP Photo) CHINA OUT

In operation since 2007, “Putter Panda” is latest group to be implicated by researchers 

For Ars TechnicaDan Goodin reports: Investigators said they have identified a secretive hacking group that has spent years systematically targeting US partners in the space and satellite industry, most likely on behalf of the Chinese military.

“Putter Panda is a determined adversary group, conducting intelligence-gathering operations targeting the Government, Defense, Research, and Technology sectors in the United States, with specific targeting of the US Defense and European satellite and aerospace industries.”

— Crowdstrike researchers

The group typically gains a foothold in sensitive networks by attaching booby-trapped documents to e-mails, according to a 62-page report published Monday by Crowdstrike, a firm that conducts forensic investigations on behalf of customers who have suffered security breaches. When employees click on the documents, the attackers are able to gain control over their PCs. The attackers then use the PCs to take control of servers housing blueprints, customer lists, or other sensitive data. The group, dubbed as Putter Panda, is connected to Unit 61486 of the People Liberation Army’s (PLA’s) Third General Staff Department, according to the report. Read the rest of this entry »


Report: Large-scale Cyber Attacks linked to Sophisticated Hacking Organization in China

hckerzChna(Reuters) – Jim Finkle writes:  Researchers have discovered a group of highly sophisticated hackers operating for hire out of China, a U.S. computer security company said on Tuesday, and it linked them to some of the best-known espionage attacks in recent years.

Symantec Corp said the group, which it dubbed “Hidden Lynx,” was among the most technically advanced of several dozen believed to be running cyber espionage operations out of China. Unlike a previous report by another company, Symantec did not accuse the Chinese government of involvement in the cyber attacks.

Symantec’s 28-page report described Hidden Lynx as a “professional organization” staffed by between 50 and 100 people with a variety of skills needed to breach networks and steal information, including valuable corporate secrets. Read the rest of this entry »