Tech

Official Chinese documentary reveals military cyber-attacks against US

Officially, China does not wage acts of cyber-warfare against the United States. Unofficially, mounting evidence points to Chinese entities attacking multiple entities in the U.S., from government agencies to private corporations and nonprofits.

Now comes a more tangible, damning piece of evidence. Buried in an official military documentary, a six-second clip aired on Chinese TV shows a custom-built computer program launching a cyber-attack from a compromised U.S. IP address. (RELATED TECH: Federal push for cloud technology faces skepticism)

The Epoch Times broke the story early this morning, revealing that a Chinese military university uses software to launch attacks against websites affiliated with the Falun Gong spiritual discipline, which are known dissidents of the People’s Republic of China. In order to do so, they compromised servers owned by the University of Alabama Birmingham (UAB) to launch the attack.

The program in the screenshot, as described by The Epoch Times, has the words “select hacking target” written at the top of the window, and allows the user to select both the hacking target as well as the IP address to launch the attack from, using a large button that says “attack.” In this version, a drop-down window lists multiple Falun Gong targets.

The program’s creators are listed as the Electrical Engineering University of the People’s Liberation Army, a strong link to the Chinese military.

The revelation of this program comes weeks after McAfee Corporation revealed the existence of “Shady RAT,” a five-year-long campaign waged by a state actor against 72 organizations, including government agencies, international nonprofits and humanitarian groups, and private corporations. Though McAfee refused to name the country responsible, experts believed that China coordinated the attacks, citing the nature of the targeted groups.

In response to the growing allegations of cyber warfare, the Chinese government has long maintained that the United States was the true aggressor. The Epoch Times points out that the documentary containing the damaging screenshot was a propaganda piece calling the U.S. “the first country to implement [cyber attacks] it in a real war.”

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