China is awash with nondescript new office buildings, so the 12-story tower in Shanghai’s Pudong area hardly looked likely to cause global headlines. Not even propaganda posters on walls surrounding it or People’s Liberation Army guards standing at the gates made the building stand out.

Yet recently a U.S. private security firm, Mandiant, based in Virginia, identified it as the headquarters of Unit 61398, a PLA grouping suspected of waging cyberwarfare. The study revealed that 150 highly sophisticated cyber-attacks against targets in the United States had originated from inside. Last week international journalists and TV crews suddenly descending on Unit 61398 were chased away, even as an angry Beijing government denied the allegations. One BBC team was briefly detained.

Unable to view this article?

This could be due to a conflict with your ad-blocking or security software.

Please add japantimes.co.jp and piano.io to your list of allowed sites.

If this does not resolve the issue or you are unable to add the domains to your allowlist, please see out this support page.

We humbly apologize for the inconvenience.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.