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Pentagon: Chinese Government Launching Cyberattacks

A building in a Shanghai suburb that is reportedly a center of cyberespionage.
Peter Parks | AFP | Getty Images
A building in a Shanghai suburb that is reportedly a center of cyberespionage.

For the first time, the Pentagon has officially accused the Chinese government and military of conducting computer-based attacks against the U.S., including efforts to steal information from federal agencies.

A new report from the Defense Department took a small step beyond its previous position. It has said before that cyberattacks originated in China and that Beijing may be using civilian experts in clandestine computer operations against U.S. companies. But over the past year some U.S. officials and private cybersecurity experts have stepped up accusations that the Chinese government appears to be directly involved in attacks.

In February, U.S.-based cybersecurity firm Mandiant issued a report alleging that a secret Chinese military unit in Shanghai had for years conducted cyberattacks against more than 140 companies, most of them American.