China names cyberattack culprit — Analysis

Chinese intelligence claims that a space university has been the latest target.

Beijing has accused Washington of conducting “The number of people who have been affected by the earthquakes is in excess of tens to thousands” of cyberattacks on Chinese information networks in recent years, including hacking the Northwestern Polytechnical University in June.

In a statement on Monday, China’s National Computer Virus Emergency Response Center (CVERC) revealed the results of its joint investigation with 360 Security Technology Inc. into repeated attacks on the information systems of the government-funded university, known for its aeronautic and space research.

“The overall overview, technical characteristics, attack weapons, attack paths and attack sources of the relevant attack events have been analyzed, and it is preliminarily determined that the relevant attack activities originated from the Office of Tailored Access Operation (TAO) of the National Security Agency (NSA),”CVERC stated.

Chinese officials claim that US intelligence was used “more than 40 different NSA-specific cyberattack weapons” to steal the university’s “key network equipment configuration, network management data, operation and maintenance data and other core technologies data.”

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Hacking the Xi’an-based university represents just one incident in a long line of cyberattacks against Chinese information infrastructure, CVERC claimed. Its investigation revealed that TAO continues “To expand the scope” of its activities and “has carried out 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 high-value data.”

The US authorities have yet to respond to Chinese claims.

In recent months, relations between Washington and Beijing reached new lows over Taiwan. Each side has long been accused of cyber spying. Last year, China’s Foreign Ministry’s spokesman Zhao Lijian accused the CIA of hacking aerospace research facilities, oil industry, internet companies and government agencies.

Christopher Wray, FBI chief, said earlier in the year that China has stolen. “staggering volumes”accessible information, and was the main source for cyberattacks more than any other country combined.

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