Papers link top China university to army 'hacking' unit

Mar 24, 2013
This file photo shows students walking out of the library of Shanghai Jiaotong University, on August 3, 2010. Researchers at Jiaotong University collaborated with a Chinese army unit accused of carrying out hacking attacks on the United States, academic papers published online show.

Researchers at one of China's top universities collaborated with a Chinese army unit accused of carrying out hacking attacks on the United States, academic papers published online show.

The elite Shanghai Jiaotong University conducted network security research with People's Liberation Army (PLA) Unit 61398, the co-authored papers, accessed by AFP, reveal.

A US security company said last month that the army unit, also based in China's commercial hub Shanghai, was behind serial hacking attacks on US firms, sparking a war of words between the two powers.

Last week US President Barack Obama raised cybersecurity with China's new President Xi Jinping. China has denied that it engages in hacking and claims its military is a victim of cyberattacks mostly originating in the US.

Several researchers at Shanghai Jiaotong's School of Information Security Engineering (SISE) published research with members of Unit 61938, with projects dating back to 2007, the papers easily accessed online show.

Subjects of the joint research include the design of an "intrusion monitoring system" for computer networks and ways to evaluate "attack graphs", which show how an adversary can break into a computer system.

None of the papers described plans to carry out cyberattacks on foreign targets.

The university was not immediately available for comment on Sunday.

Xue Zhi, a co-author of one of the papers and SISE's vice-president, is the developer of China's leading "cyber-penetration attack platform", according to the university's website.

Shanghai Jiaotong University is one of China's flagship educational institutions, and has attracted members of 's business and political elite, with former President Jiang Zemin amongst its alumni.

The US Department of Defense has approved a fivefold expansion of its cybersecurity force to include 4,900 troops and civilians over the coming years in response to growing online threats, The Washington Post reported in January.

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User comments : 9

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3 / 5 (2) Mar 24, 2013
What a surprise. I am sure that MIT or Stanford never, ever collaborated with the US military on anything.
2 / 5 (4) Mar 24, 2013
I am sure that MIT or Stanford never, ever collaborated with the US military on anything
Indeed. It would be so anti-peaceful and antidemocratic misuse of scientific potential of these universities, that I'm perfectly sure, the USA citizens would never allow it. Not to say about their lawfully elected government.
1 / 5 (2) Mar 24, 2013
you are both correct and thank you for speaking up.
1 / 5 (2) Mar 24, 2013
An EMP bomb could fix this problem.
1 / 5 (2) Mar 24, 2013
What's the matter, you never seen a hypocrite before?
3 / 5 (2) Mar 24, 2013
There are too many Chinese students at MIT that such spy projects would ever stay secret! :D
1 / 5 (1) Mar 24, 2013

The fact that digital tech has been weaponized shoulld come as no surprise.

In fact, it was inevitable. And, indeed, has been so since the outset of the development and deployment of the technology.

I guess no one read any of William gibson's novels(for example), or bother to speculate about the future of computers.

It was an is a fact of life in the digital era.

not rated yet Mar 24, 2013
I've made a serious personal effort to study the same subjects. It's why I use antivirus software. I don't get it, what's the big deal? How is it that anyone studying defensive technology offends anyone else?

Is it better we all remain ignorant of antibiotics as well?
1 / 5 (2) Mar 30, 2013
He said, she said.

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