On Tuesday, Japanese officials said a former Chinese student attempted to unlawfully purchase advanced computer security software for cyberattacks and cyberespionage in Japan.
According to NHK World, investigation sources believe the Chinese individual was directed to acquire the software under the name of a fake firm by a person associated with China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA). Police said that China is suspected of attempting to collect information on Japanese companies’ security procedures to identify holes and execute cyberattacks against them.
As per sources, the former student, who is in his 30s, attempted to purchase sophisticated technological software in 2016. Japanese corporations can only buy it. However, NHK World revealed that the attempt failed because the software’s seller felt suspicious and canceled the contract.
The former student was questioned by the Tokyo Metropolitan Police voluntarily. However, it was later discovered that he had departed Japan. On suspicion of attempted fraud, the police secured an arrest order for the individual. The authorities intend to request that the Chinese suspect be placed on an international wanted list by the International Criminal Police Organization.
The suspected fraud effort is considered to be the PLA’s most recent. In 2016, hackers working for the PLA launched massive cyberattacks on over 200 companies and institutions, including the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency and certain defense-related firms.
The Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department handed the paperwork to prosecutors accusing a Chinese Communist Party member who had stayed in Japan of renting a computer server used to conduct the cyberattacks under fictitious names.
According to investigating sources, in the most recent case, a member of PLA unit 61419, specializing in cyberattacks, is accused of using a messaging app to provide directions to a Chinese man in Japan. As a result of their suspicions that Beijing is behind significant cyberattacks, Japanese officials are concerned that the threat to security is escalating.