Unit 61398

Was listening to NPR this morning and found this little gem.

A military unit from the PLA (People’s Liberation Army) known as Unit 61398 or “Comment Crew” has been hacking into U.S and other foreign firms to gather intellectual property, infrastructural data and other information that could be useful to the Chinese Government.

This hacking unit has been effectively gathering such information since as early as 2006 and has been using the intellectual property int order for China to be able to keep with the same corporations that the information is being taken from.

A group called Mandiant were the ones who traced the data back to Shanghai China and into a building which houses the military unit.

Another issue comes from the data retrieved about electrical grids and gas lines. Such data could be used to a very harmful degree.

I know that we discussed in class that intellectual property could not be stolen and that this would be considered to be found information by the “Comment Crew”, but I could see how this could in fact be considered stolen and creates a huge advantage to competing companies abroad.

Could these companies IPs be considered stolen? What about the trade secrets that were probably found as well? Would this have been viewed differently if a U.S based company was hacking competitors in order to gain an upper hand?

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