Wednesday, Jun 3, 2015Wednesday, Jun 3, 2015

Hacking attack in Canada bears signs of Chinese army unit-expert

Published on Aug 1, 2014 7:35 PM

OTTAWA/TORONTO (REUTERS) - The recent hacking attempt on a sensitive Canadian government computer network is similar to attacks mounted by an elite unit of the Chinese army based in Shanghai, according to a cybersecurity expert.

Canada said on Tuesday "a highly sophisticated Chinese state-sponsored actor" had broken into the National Research Council, a leading body that works with major companies such as aircraft and train maker Bombardier Inc. Beijing on Thursday accused Canada of making irresponsible accusations that lacked credible evidence.

While Canada did not give details of the attack, CrowdStrike Chief Technology Officer Dmitri Alperovitch said it was similar to other hacking campaigns launched by a unit of the People's Liberation Army that his company has nicknamed 'Putter Panda'.

The group, Unit 61486, has thousands of people and conducts intelligence on satellite and aerospace industries, he said. "It certainly looks like one of the actors we track out of China that we've seen going after aircraft manufacturers in the past," Mr Alperovitch said. CrowdStrike is a California-based security technology company.

Enjoy 2 weeks of unlimited digital access to The Straits Times. Get your free access now!