According to Mandiant, a company focused on intense cybersecurity of major companies, about 140 American companies and other global organizations have been hacked into by Chinese hackers.
Mandiant has released a report about 70 pages long that details investigative work, including evidence showing the IP addresses the attackers used were of Chinese origin, which led to the conclusion that they came from a group called APT1.
Some companies that have recently believed to have been hacked by this Chinese group include Facebook and Microsoft, as well as government databases.
Eastern Michigan University student Adam Kuk said he was not surprised.
“Of course China has the ability to hack into our systems,” he said. “They make every component in our computers.”
APT1, Mandiant said, is “one of the most prolific cyber-espionage groups in terms of the sheer quantity of information stolen.”
“It’s very unlikely that they will use the hacked information against us,” said EMU student Ryan Avery, an international affairs major. “As hurting the U.S. will hurt China equally. They need us as much as we need them, economically.”
Kevin Mandia, the CEO and founder of Mandiant, said he believes the Chinese government is at least aware of these hackings.
“You really only have two possible conclusions: Either the Chinese government is behind these attacks, or they’re aware of these attacks because China has a very controlled infrastructure,” he told the BBC in an interview. “They know where people are browsing on the internet.”
The building Mandiant traced and believes to be behind these attacks is located in the city of Shanghai, China.
When filming this particular building, BBC journalist John Sudworth was detained by Chinese soldiers.
He was let go when he surrendered his footage to them.
According to the Associated Press, the American government has taken the report Mandiant released seriously.
California senator Dianne Feinstein said she sees this as a great opportunity to start an international agreement to protect companies.
“I think it’s more entertaining than worrisome,” said EMU sophomore John Masuga.
China has denied all hacking accusations against them.
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