According to The New York Times, "the culture of hacking in China is not confined to top-secret military compounds where hackers carry out orders to pilfer data from foreign governments and corporations." Instead, the practice is commonplace, openly discussed "at trade shows, inside university classrooms and on internet forums."
Yet China's relaxed attitude toward cyber-espionage could partially explain why U.S. companies have been the targets of a growing number of hacks from overseas. Earlier this year, The New York Times fell victim to a critical infrastructure breach, which security experts traced back to Shanghai and the People's Liberation Army, which was purportedly gathering intel regarding a Times story set to be published about top-ranking Chinese officials.
Indeed, the threat of cyber-warfare is a growing concern domestically. Out of fear of an imminent, serious cyber-attack — or perhaps one that's already underway — The Verge reports that a former group of government officials and private executives are calling on Congress to "consider passing laws allowing U.S. companies to 'counterattack' against such hackers, whoever they may be."