Inside the Ring: China Cyber Spy Chief Revealed


The activities of one of China’s cyber spymasters has been revealed for the first time in a government report on Beijing’s unfair trade practices made public last week.

The role of People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Maj. Gen. Liu Xiaobei, until recently the director of the Third Department of the PLA General Staff known as 3PLA, was disclosed. The Chinese military hacking group has been linked by U.S. intelligence agencies to massive cyberattacks and data theft from the U.S. government, military and private sector for more than a decade.

Gen. Liu’s current status is not known, but 3PLA is now the core unit of a new service-level military organization known as the Strategic Support Force whose main component is called the Cyber Corps. The Cyber Corps also absorbed the PLA’s psychological warfare unit called 311 Base, which conducts information warfare — disinformation and influence activities.

Read the entire article at the Washington Times.

Bill Gertz   Email Bill | Full Bio | RSS
Bill Gertz is senior editor of the Washington Free Beacon. Prior to joining the Beacon he was a national security reporter, editor, and columnist for 27 years at the Washington Times. Bill is the author of seven books, four of which were national bestsellers. His most recent book was iWar: War and Peace in the Information Age, a look at information warfare in its many forms and the enemies that are waging it. Bill has an international reputation. Vyachaslav Trubnikov, head of the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service, once called him a “tool of the CIA” after he wrote an article exposing Russian intelligence operations in the Balkans. A senior CIA official once threatened to have a cruise missile fired at his desk after he wrote a column critical of the CIA’s analysis of China. And China’s communist government has criticized him for news reports exposing China’s weapons and missile sales to rogue states. The state-run Xinhua news agency in 2006 identified Bill as the No. 1 “anti-China expert” in the world. Bill insists he is very much pro-China—pro-Chinese people and opposed to the communist system. Former Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld once told him: “You are drilling holes in the Pentagon and sucking out information.” His Twitter handle is @BillGertz.

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