Chinese authorities assert that a university dedicated to space research is the newest object of US intelligence.
The Northwestern Polytechnical University was hacked in June, according to Beijing, which claims that Washington has carried out "tens of thousands" of cyberattacks against Chinese information networks in recent years.
The findings of a joint investigation by China's National Computer Virus Emergency Response Center (CVERC) and 360 Security Technology Inc. into frequent attacks on the information systems of the government-funded university, famed for its aeronautics and space research, were made public on Monday.
The Office of Tailored Access Operation (TAO) of the National Security Agency (NSA) was the source of the relevant attack activities, according to a preliminary analysis of the relevant attack events' overall overview, technical characteristics, attack weapons, attack paths, and attack sources, according to CVERC.
Chinese authorities claim that US intelligence stole the university's "important network equipment configuration, network management data, operation and maintenance data, and other vital technology data" using "more than 40 different NSA-specific cyberattack weapons."
The university in Xi'an was hacked as only one instance in a lengthy series of cyberattacks targeting Chinese digital infrastructure, according to CVERC. After conducting an investigation, it was discovered that TAO has been "expanding the scope" of its operations and has "conducted tens of thousands of malicious network attacks on network targets in China, and controlled tens of thousands of network devices (network servers, Internet terminals, network switches, telephone switches, routers, firewalls, etc.), stealing over 140GB of highly valuable data."
The US government has not yet reacted to the Chinese accusations.
In recent months, the Taiwan issue has caused a new low in the relationship between Washington and Beijing. Both parties have long charged one another with cyber espionage. Zhao Lijian, a spokeswoman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, charged the CIA with hacking government organizations, internet service providers, oil corporations, and aerospace research institutes last year.
China has stolen "staggering amounts" of information, according to FBI Director Christopher Wray, and has been the target of more cyberattacks than all other nations put together.
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