Borg said China and Russia have similar capacity to cause mayhem, but have different priorities and skill sets.
“Russia is best at military espionage and operations,” he said. “That’s what they have focused on for a long time. China is looking for crucial business information and technology. China’s main focus is stealing technology. These things quite separate. You use different tools on critical infrastructure than you use for military espionage and different tools again on stealing technology.”
Borg said that each has its strong suit. “The Russians are technically advanced. The Chinese just have more people dedicated to the effort, by a wide margin,” he said. “They are not as innovative or creative as the U.S. and Russia. China has the greatest quantity, if not quality.”
Borg said the group featured in Mandiant’s report, the People’s Liberation Army Unit 61398, may be one of the most important groups working in China, but not necessarily the most important.
“There are at least two dozen groups carrying out aggressive operations against the U.S.,” he said. “They get in each other’s way and trip over one another, but they are all operating with the tacit approval of the Chinese government.