china hacks Papers link Shanghai Jiaotong University to special army hacking unit

Recently published Chinese academic papers claim that researchers at Jiaotong University collaborated with an elite Chinese army unit to study how to carry out sophisticated cyber-attacks.

Shanghai Jiaotong University is the premiere institution of higher education, and a lot of China’s top-level lawmakers can claim the University as their Alma Mater as well.  Now, that very same University has published papers that seems to present damning evidence backing the U.S.' claim that China has a PLA-backed hacking unit.

The recently published papers date back to 2007 and show several researchers associated with Jiaotong's School of Information Security Engineering (SISE) listed with the work.  The papers claim to focus on how to orchestrate computer break-ins abroad, and they also show that university researchers were working with the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Unit 61398.

The works vary on monitoring techniques, to literal computer break-ins, which includes the coding for an "intrusion monitoring system" for assorted computer networks, along with how to monitor "attack graphs".  

Just last month the U.S. security firm Mandiant accused the Chinese military of conducting sophisticated hacking runs into major computer networks located inside the U.S. and abroad. Mandiant says China is involved in a “systematic cyber espionage and data theft against organizations around the world.” 

The firm was also able to show how the Chinese PLA-backed hackers set up their base of operations inside of Shanghai’s commercial districtThe Communist Party of China (CPA) allegedly backs up the work down by the PLA, and the goal of the hackers is to learn "How to get inside major corporations to steal trade secrets and also some government servers”.

In February a string of sophisticated hacks into high profile corporations, which included Apple, Microsoft and Tumblr and Facebook, were reported, and many felt the attacks were a direct reply to Mandiant’s report on the Chinese hackers.  E-mails have also begun showing up with laced versions of the actual report itself, which only lends credence to the Chinese hacking allegations.

China has denied all accusations in regarding computer network break-ins, and have actually accused the U.S. of stealing their own secrets.