Even though the Beijing government denies if the unit’s involved in current cyber attacks and often finger-point to Edward Snowden and the NSA, nonetheless is the Unit 61398 Mainland China’s “cyber warfare center of operations?”
By: Ringo Bones
The Uyghur and Tibetan Diaspora – or anyone labeled by the Beijing government as a “terrorist group” – seems to agree that Edward Snowden’s cyber-shenanigans pointing the United States’ National Security Agency resources is eavesdropping on everyone’s online data transactions is a lesser evil compared to the “Beijing 50-Cent Cyber Army” and other “Cyber-Terrorist” organizations actively sponsored by the Beijing government is that the NSA will probably never wreck your microfinance business’ database with malware. Back in February 3, 2013, Google chairman Eric Schmidt calls the People’s Republic of China an “internet menace” due to the Beijing government’s act of actively supporting home-grown top-notch cyber-criminals in order to achieve its own political and economic ends. Though the free world’s wariness of the Beijing sponsored cyber attacks had since been noted way before the September 11, 2001 terror attacks, no one on this side of the “Great Firewall of China” has any idea what a top-notch Beijing government sponsored cyber warfare center looks like until February 20, 2013 when it was divulged that a certain non-descript government building in Shanghai was the nerve center of the Beijing government’s “Cyber Warfare Corps”.
The cyber attack culprit was then traced to the Unit 61398 of the Mainland Chinese People’s Liberation Army. Look-wise, it is a non-descript looking 12-storey government building in an army base in the middle of Shanghai that is surrounded by a local run-down neighborhood that for a number of years now had launched cyber attacks on American I.T. companies with ongoing US government contracts. Western cyber security analysts still only had speculations on the structural hierarchy of the Beijing government’s “cyber warfare corps” – whether they employ civilian cyber criminals / cyber terrorists / hackers or it is mostly manned by People’s Liberation Army personnel with advanced computer skills; Though the “Comment Crew” and “Shanghai Group” had been speculated to consist mostly of the Mainland Chinese People’s Liberation Army’s elite crew of master cyber warriors.
For a number of years now, the Obama administration had been wary of the Beijing government’s carte blanche attitude of its homegrown cyber terrorists / cyber criminals as long as these online outlaws work in maintaining Beijing’s interests. And unlike the secret eavesdropping activities since divulged by disenfranchised NSA private intelligence contractor Edward Snowden, the cyber-shenanigans done in the name of the Beijing government doesn’t just involve mere unauthorized looking into everyone’s private data but more often than not involve launching Directed Denial of Service or DDOS attacks on groups the Beijing government perceives as their “enemy” – i.e. the online computer infrastructures of Tibetan and Uyghur Diaspora living in the United States and elsewhere.