China accuses the NSA of hacking a top university to steal data

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hackingbear shares a report from Gizmodo: China claims that America’s National Security Agency used sophisticated cyber tools to hack into an elite research university on Chinese soil. The attack allegedly targeted Northwestern Polytechnical University in Xi’an (not to be confused with a Californian one). school of the same name), that is senior in the global university index for its science and engineering degrees. The US Department of Justice has labeled the school a “Chinese military university heavily involved in military research and working closely with the People’s Liberation Army,” calling it a reasonable target for digital infiltration from an American perspective.

China’s National Computer Virus Emergency Response Center (CVERC) recently a report The hack is attributed to the Tailored Access Operations Group (TAO) – an elite team of NSA hackers first made public via the Snowden Leaks in 2013helps the US government break into networks around the world to gather intelligence and collect data. [CVERC identified 41 TAO tools involved in the case.] One such tool, dubbed “Suctionchar,” is said to have helped infiltrate the school’s network by stealing account credentials from remote management and file transfer applications to hijack logins on targeted servers. The report also mentions the exploitation of Bvp47, a Linux backdoor used in previous hacking missions by the Equation Group, another elite NSA hacking team. Traces of Suctionchar have been found on many other Chinese networks alongside Northwestern’s, according to CVERC, and the agency has accused the NSA of launching more than 10,000 cyberattacks on China in recent years.

On Sunday, the allegations against the NSA escalated into a diplomatic complaint. Yang Tao, director general of American affairs at the Chinese Foreign Ministry a statement Reaffirming the CVERC report and claiming that the NSA “seriously violated the technical secrets of relevant Chinese institutions and seriously compromised the security of China’s critical infrastructure, institutions and personal information and must be stopped immediately.”

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