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Top China college in focus with ties to army's cyber-spying unit

Published on Mar 24, 2013 10:49 AM
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A Jiaotong University campus is seen at Zhangjiang High Technology Park, on the outskirts of Shanghai. Faculty members at the top Chinese university have collaborated for years on technical research papers with a People's Liberation Army (PLA) unit accused of being at the heart of China's alleged cyber-war against Western commercial targets. -- FILE PHOTO: REUTERS

SHANGHAI (REUTERS) - Faculty members at a top Chinese university have collaborated for years on technical research papers with a People's Liberation Army (PLA) unit accused of being at the heart of China's alleged cyber-war against Western commercial targets.

Several papers on computer network security and intrusion detection, easily accessed on the Internet, were co-authored by researchers at PLA Unit 61398, allegedly an operational unit actively engaged in cyber-espionage, and faculty at Shanghai Jiaotong University, a centre of academic excellence with ties to some of the world's top universities and attended by the country's political and business elite.

The apparent working relationship between the PLA unit and Shanghai Jiaotong is in contrast to common practice in most developed nations, where university professors in recent decades have been reluctant to cooperate with operational intelligence gathering units.

The issue of cyber-security is testing ties between the world's two biggest economies, prompting US President Barack Obama to raise concerns over computer hacking in a phone call with new Chinese President Xi Jinping. China denies it engages in state-sponsored hacking, saying it is a victim of cyber-attacks from the United States.

 
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