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Chinese Military Suspected of Being behind Cyberattacks against Japanese Companies

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and many defense-affiliated companies have been subjected to large-scale cyberattacks. Japanese police believe that hacker groups may have carried out these attacks at the behest of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA).

JAXA suffered a cyberattack in 2016. The Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department found that the attack used a server rented in Japan, and that a Chinese man in his 30s was in Japan at the time and had rented the server five times under a false name. The man, a Chinese Communist Party member, is a systems engineer. It was reported that the ID information needed to log in to the server was passed to a Chinese hacker group called “Tick.”

Police found that another Chinese man also rented a server in Japan under a false name at the behest of the People’s Liberation Army’s “Unit 61419,” a group that specializes in cyberattacks.

The police believe that the hacker group “Tick” carried out the “cyberattacks at the behest of the PLA. The 2016 attack targeted about 200 research institutions and companies, including powerful defense-related companies, in addition to the one against JAXA.

Source: NHK, April 19, 2021