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China Accuses NSA of Hacking Its Military Research University

CHINA SAID NSA IS BEHIND A CYBERATTACK ON A CHINESE UNIVERSITY. PHOTO: KEVIN KU VIA UNSPLASH​

CHINA SAID THE UNITED STATES NATIONAL SECURITY AGENCY IS BEHIND A CYBERATTACK ON A CHINESE UNIVERSITY. PHOTO: KEVIN KU VIA UNSPLASH

China has accused the U.S. National Security Agency of hacking the info system of an integral Chinese university that develops secret weapons for the countrys military.

Chinese authorities said Monday they will have traced the foundation of recent cyberattacks on the countrys Northwestern Polytechnical University to the NSAs Office of Tailored Access Operations, a secretive unit of the agency known for breaking into computers all over the world and obtaining the ungettable.

The university works closely with the Chinese military on aeronautics and defense research and had in June reported being attacked by foreign hackers who sent staff and students phishing emails.

China has been increasingly vocal in accusing U.S. individuals or sets of undertaking cyberattacks on Chinese users and institutions, in what some analysts have named an information campaign to counter U.S. allegations of Chinese hacking.

In February, a Chinese cybersecurity firm linked the NSA to a hacking operation with targets spanning 45 countries, including China.

The Northwestern Polytechnical University in June said its staff and students received emails disguised as invitations to academic events or scientific review but were attempting to steal email logins. On Monday, Chinas National TROJAN Emergency Response Center said the attack was completed by the NSA. The guts said it conducted a short investigation with the Beijing-based internet security company 360 Security Technology Inc.

Albert Zhang, a researcher with the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, said he detected a huge selection of inauthentic Chinese state-linked social media marketing accounts sharing statements and memes blaming the NSA for the cyberattack even yet in the weeks before the centers announcement.

Whether or not the claims are true or false, this coordination of official statements and covert activity could be section of a broader propaganda campaign to negatively portray the U.S. and showcase Chinese cybersecurity capabilities, Zhang told VICE World News.

The NSA didn’t immediately react to a obtain comment.

Funded and directly managed by Chinas Ministry of Industry and IT, the Northwestern Polytechnical University in Shaanxi province is among numerous public Chinese institutions sanctioned by Washington over its close ties with the military. The university supports the development of military weapons, including drones, fighter jets, and spacecraft.

The alleged U.S. hacking didn’t bring about any significant data leak, the university said in June.

Speaking at a normal press conference on Monday, Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Mao Ning said the phishing emails targeting the university is another exemplory case of the U.S. governments cyber attacks on China. THE UNITED STATES in addition has long completed indiscriminate audio surveillance against Chinese cell-phone users, illegally stole texts from their website and conducted wireless positioning, said Mao, who called on the U.S. to provide a conclusion.

The case was also widely included in Chinese media outlets and racked up a lot more than 380 million views on Chinese social media marketing platform Weibo by Monday evening.

The U.S. government and internet security companies have for a long time pointed fingers at China for an array of hacking operations. Beijing has repeatedly denied involvement such campaigns.

Follow Rachel Cheung on Twitter and Instagram.

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