Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


China spends big on cyber spying: US

20 March 2013, 14:31

Washington - China is pouring massive amounts of money and resources into cyber attacks aimed at stealing business secrets, security researchers told a congressional panel on Tuesday.

Cyber attacks purported to come from China, a topic which has drawn the attention of US President Barack Obama and other top officials, are part of "an extensive effort to pilfer intellectual property," said Kevin Mandia, head of the security firm Mandiant.

"It's been supported monetarily," said Mandia, whose firm released a report earlier this year linking the People's Liberation Army to a long-running cyber espionage campaign.

"It would take thousands of people, thousands of systems... the mere infrastructure alone, and the time, and duration and scope of this effort to steal our secrets has gone on for so long that there's a large amount of investment in it."

Mandia told a hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee that "based on that investment, it's hard to conclude anything other than that there's an advantage being gained from that investment."

Richard Bejtlich, Mandiant's chief security officer, said the army unit identified in the report is "just one element of a large campaign."

"There are other teams working in other cities in other parts of the country that, in some cases, target other areas of the economy," he added.

Obama plans ‘tough talk’ with China

Based on the firm's investigation, "We can say with confidence that they're Chinese units... I would say they're at least government sanctioned.

We can't say for sure these other units, whether they are uniform-wearing military or if they're contractors or if they're outsourced third parties."

Mandia said the methods of the attacks suggest clear economic goals.

"These attacks are against companies," he said. "They're not against individuals at the highest levels. It's to steal corporate secrets; it's not individual secrets, necessarily."

He added that most of the attacks are carried out by luring people to open infected emails which allow outsiders access to networks.

"But they are not targeting an individual at home. And it's very clear to us after responding to Chinese intrusions for nearly 15 years now in my career, the attacks do follow a rule of engagement," he said.

"I've never witnessed Chinese intruders - other than breach the confidentiality of your documents, I've never seen them change things."

Obama earlier this month pledged "some pretty tough talk" with China and added that "we've made it very clear to China and some other state actors that, you know, we expect them to follow international norms and abide by international rules."

China has consistently denied the charges, and also claimed that it was a victim of such attacks.

In its report, Mandiant alleged that APT1 - known also as "Comment Crew" for its practice of planting viruses on the comment sections of websites - has stolen hundreds of terabytes of data from at least 141 organisations spanning 20 industries.



Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
1 comment
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...