Indictment of PLA officers
Date of report
  • May 2014
In May 2014, the U.S. Department of Justice indicted five members of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Unit 61398, a Chinese army unit dedicated to cyber espionage. According to the Department of Justice, Unit 61398 compromised U.S. corporate networks for trade information potentially useful to Chinese state-owned enterprises. The PLA indictments were the most direct confrontation to date between Washington and Beijing regarding Chinese government sponsorship of hacking groups. It was the first time that the U.S. Department of Justice indicted state-sponsored actors, and was part of a broader effort by the United States to halt China’s cyber industrial espionage programs and define an international norm against cyber espionage for commercial gain.
Suspected victims
  • Westinghouse
  • ATI
  • Solar World
  • USW
  • U.S. Steel
  • Alcoa
Suspected state sponsor
  • China
Type of incident
  • Espionage
Target category
  • Private sector
Victim government reaction
  • Yes
Policy response
Suspected state sponsor response