Putter Panda sounds like a cute name and just saying it can almost bring a smile to your face, until you realize that ‘Putter Panda’ is actually a cover for the ‘People’s Liberation Army Unit 61486’, a cyber unit based in Shanghai that for years has been hacking systems worldwide.
Only a few weeks ago the United States government indicted several members of the Chinese Army from a similar group called ‘Comment Panda’ on criminal charges which the Chinese government naturally has denied. However researchers from ‘Crowdstrike’ recently released information that directly ties these units to hacking activities, including a photo of one of the possible hackers. According to Crowdstrike executive George Kurtz, “the documents were released to counter China’s denials and statements that the country’s government and military have never engaged in cyber theft of trade secrets”.
It is believed that ‘Putter Panda’ has been hacking American defense and aerospace industries for nearly a decade. According to the International Business Times, the Chinese unit has used “Remote Access Trojans termed pngdownloader and httpclient, along with malware to attack target systems”.
The evidence continues to mount that ties the Chinese military to a vast hacking operation that is constantly seeking information that China can leverage to financial and military advantage on the world stage. The question is, once enough evidence is gathered, what will be done about it, and by who.