Chinese military seen behind cyber attacks in Japan, says NHK

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China’s military is believed to have instructed a group of hackers to conduct cyber attacks on about 200 Japanese research institutions and companies. reported, citing unidentified people in a police investigation.

Investigators found that a member of the Communist Party of China made contracts under a false name for rental servers in Japan that were used in the attacks on the Japanese space agency JAXA in 2016, the broadcaster said on Tuesday.

Investigators believe that the cyber attacks were carried out by a group known as Tick, under the instructions of the People’s Liberation Army. Two men involved with contracts for servers left Japan, NHK said.

A Chinese systems engineer in his 30s, who is a member of the Chinese Communist Party, was referred to prosecutors for his alleged involvement in the attacks, Kyodo News reported, citing unidentified investigative sources.

The reported allegations, the latest in a series of similar incidents, come amid increasingly difficult relations between Japan and its largest trading partner. The topic of ties with China dominated Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga’s summit agenda with US President Joe Biden in Washington last week.