Share this on Twitter Share this on Facebook Share this on LinkedIn Share this on Sina Weibo Share this on Wechat Share this on LinkedIn Credit: Tasos Katopodis via Getty Images Cyber attacks from China have become a major problem for U.S. institutions and companies. One recent incident — an attack in March on six U.S. state governments carried out by a group of organized civilians — shows how the threat is coming not just from state-backed operatives from the People’s Liberation Army or Ministry of State Security (MSS). Hackers targeted the six states through a vulnerability in a livestock disease-tracking application called USAHEARDS. Analysts have since attributed the attack to Advanced Persistent Threat 41 (APT41), a Chengdu-based criminal hacking syndicate. APT41 has also been referred to as Barium, Winnti, Double Dragon, Wicked Panda and Wicked Spider, according to a press release for three Department of Justice indictments from 2020 targeting the group. APTs — a term coined by the U.S. Air Force in 2006 — are a common source of Chinese cyber attacks. They are made up of talented civilian hackers who the government often enlists to Subscribe or login to read the rest. Subscribers get full access to: Exclusive longform investigative journalism, Q&As, news and analysis, and data on Chinese business elites and corporations. We publish China scoops you won't find anywhere else. A weekly curated reading list on China from David Barboza, Pulitzer Prize-winning former Shanghai correspondent for The New York Times. A daily roundup of China finance, business and economics headlines. We offer discounts for groups, institutions and students. Go to our Subscriptions page for details.