Feeds

Pictures of elite 'Chinese military hacker' published

People's Republic mouthpiece: So what, the US does this too

Using blade systems to cut costs and sharpen efficiencies

'Putter Panda' hack crew part of PLA SIGINT apparat, allege security bods American security bods have unmasked a shady state-sponsored Chinese hacking group dubbed Putter Panda.

Analysts at Crowdstrike traced the shadowy group to an address in Shanghai, and even outed its alleged leader.

The research firm claimed a 35-year-old bloke known online as "cpyy" registered domain names to which Putter Panda's activities have been linked.

Crowdstrike also suggested he had links to the People's Liberation Army, whose Unit 61486, of the 12th Bureau, is known to engage in online espionage. The security firm also said this was "widely accepted to be China’s primary SIGINT collection and analysis agency, supporting China’s space surveillance network".

"This is a determined adversary group, conducting intelligence-gathering operations targeting the Government, defense, research, and technology sectors in the United States, with specific targeting of space, aerospace, and communications," Crowdstrike continued.

Cpyy went under a number of names online, including the bizarre monikers "naturally do not understand romance", "polytechnic Aberdeen" and "I love pineapple pie". He is said to have referred to other members of hacking forums as "students", before assigning them "jobs".

He also appears to be a keen photographer and has posted a number of tell-tale snaps. One shows Cpyy in military fatigues.

Allegedly a PLA spy unit having a pissup; image via Crowdstrike

High jinks: Is the man in khaki fatigues a PLA soldier?

Other snaps show two distinctive People's Liberation Army peaked caps in what seems to be his room.

Alleged Chinese spy's pic of vodka and his service dress cap

Vodka: The service dress caps in the background appear to be of Chinese military pattern

He also posted images of the "office", which Crowdstrike alleged was actually the headquarters of Unit 61486.

Supposedly the HQ of China's PLA Unit 61486

HQ: This building is said to be where the Putter Panda attacks originated from

Crowdstrike said Putter Panda used two different remote-access Trojans (RATs) called pngdowner and httpclient, as well as other pieces of malware, to infiltrate computer systems.

China's foreign ministry hit back at Crowdstrike's claims that the People's Republic has fought a "decade-long economic espionage campaign that is massive and unrelenting".

"The United States cannot pretend that it is the victim. They are a hacker empire. I think everyone in the world knows this," spokeswoman Hua Chunying said. ®

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

More from The Register

next story
NEW, SINISTER web tracking tech fingerprints your computer by making it draw
Have you been on YouPorn lately, perhaps? White House website?
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
LibreSSL RNG bug fix: What's all the forking fuss about, ask devs
Blow to bit-spitter 'tis but a flesh wound, claim team
Black Hat anti-Tor talk smashed by lawyers' wrecking ball
Unmasking hidden users is too hot for Carnegie-Mellon
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
Don't look, Snowden: Security biz chases Tails with zero-day flaws alert
Exodus vows not to sell secrets of whistleblower's favorite OS
Own a Cisco modem or wireless gateway? It might be owned by someone else, too
Remote code exec in HTTP server hands kit to bad guys
prev story

Whitepapers

Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.