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The PLA General Staff Department Third Department Second Bureau: An Organizational Overview of Unit 61398

By: Mark A. Stokes |

In May 2014, the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) announced indictments against five Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) officers on charges of cyber espionage directed against U.S. firms. According to the indictments, the five officers were assigned to the Third Office of the PLA General Staff Department (GSD) Technical Reconnaissance Department (alternatively known as the Third Department) Second Bureau. While assigned personnel may well engage in cyber espionage, a survey of Second Bureau infrastructure indicates a much broader communications intelligence mission.