Most Read
    Image 01 Image 02 Image 03
    Announcement
     
    Announcement
     

    U.S. Officials: Chinese Hackers Attacked American Universities to Steal Maritime Technology

    U.S. Officials: Chinese Hackers Attacked American Universities to Steal Maritime Technology

    “The University of Hawaii, the University of Washington and Massachusetts Institute of Technology are among at least 27 universities in the U.S.”

    https://youtu.be/VaiHUR-yC6o

    There is growing concern among experts in the U.S. that China is targeting American universities for hacking, specifically for maritime technology.

    Dustin Volz of the Wall Street Journal published an extensive report on this yesterday, and although it is behind a paywall, here is an excerpt via Marketwatch:

    Chinese hackers target University of Hawaii, MIT and other schools in pursuit of military secrets

    Chinese hackers have targeted more than two dozen universities in the U.S. and around the globe as part of an elaborate scheme to steal research about maritime technology being developed for military use, according to cybersecurity experts and current and former U.S. officials.

    The University of Hawaii, the University of Washington and Massachusetts Institute of Technology are among at least 27 universities in the U.S., Canada and Southeast Asia that Beijing has targeted, according to iDefense, a cybersecurity intelligence unit of Accenture Security.

    The research, to be published this week, is the latest indication that Chinese cyberattacks to steal U.S. military and economic secrets are on the rise. The findings, reviewed by The Wall Street Journal, name a substantial list of university targets for the first time, reflecting the breadth and nature of the ongoing cyber campaign that iDefense said dates to at least April 2017.

    Luke Rosiak of the Daily Caller has more on this:

    The hackers took advantage of academic researchers not noticing that emails pretending to be from peers at other institutions were actually “phishing” attempts or contained malware. Infected files then spread, for example, from the University of Hawaii’s Applied Research Laboratory to Penn State.

    “They are a full-fledged operation,” Ben Read, senior manager for cyber espionage analysis at FireEye, told the Wall Street Journal. “And they are not going anywhere.”

    Many of the schools are linked to the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, a Massachusetts research institute that located the sunken Titanic and partners with the Naval Undersea Warfare Center.

    The team is suspected of hacking a warfare center contractor and stealing plans for a supersonic anti-ship missile.

    The cybersecurity firm iDefense said it identified breaches of universities by noticing that the schools’ servers were pinging China.

    Chinese officials didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment, but have denied that they engage in cyberattacks.

    Rosiak also points to the issue of Confucius Institutes, which are found on many American college campuses, and which have been accused of spreading propaganda from China:

    The country has also mounted an influence operation targeted at American universities. So-called Confucius Institutes inside U.S. colleges, which Chinese officials have described as effective arms for propaganda, have grown considerably in recent years. College administrators have expressed little concern even as some Chinese staff affiliated with the program sabotaged academic efforts, and the Chinese government shut down a reciprocal program in that country. Seventy percent of U.S. universities hosting the Chinese program violated the law by not disclosing the foreign funding, according to a bipartisan Senate report.

    Senator Ted Cruz discussed this during a recent appearance on FOX News:

    As the video mentions, Cruz is planning to reintroduce the “Stop Higher Education Espionage and Theft Act” which can be read here.

    Featured image via YouTube.

    DONATE

    Donations tax deductible
    to the full extent allowed by law.

    Comments



     
     0 
     
     2
    Albigensian | March 6, 2019 at 1:17 pm

    There is inevitably some tradeoff between convenience and security regarding computer and IT use. Private employers recognize this, and (mostly) are willing to tolerate some user inconvenience in return for enhanced security.

    But higher ed. is a very different environment, and all too often one in which “trust me” is all it takes to gain access to restricted material.

    Thus it’s not all that surprising that even crude attacks such as “phishing” would often be successful in this environment. Overall it’s difficult to say what calamity would be sufficient for these schools to actually get serious about security.

    Although threatening access to government-funded research grants might go a long way.


     
     0 
     
     2
    bob sykes | March 6, 2019 at 1:30 pm

    Hacking has been going on for so long that the people to be blamed are not the Chinese et al., they are the administrators of Hawaii, Washington, MIT (!!!???) and all the other affected schools. The first step should be a major purge of their lazy, corrupt and incompetent IT departments. That should be a general rule: If any institution or agency gets hacked, its IT department gets fired.

    The Chinese, Koreans (both), Japanese and Russians are just picking up the fruit left lying on the ground.


     
     0 
     
     0
    tom_swift | March 7, 2019 at 2:42 am

    The cybersecurity firm iDefense said it identified breaches of universities by noticing that the schools’ servers were pinging China.

    Oh, get real. A ping doesn’t mean that anything has been breached, it just means that one computer wants to talk to another, mostly routine chatter to keep track of which computers are at which addresses. In any case, the Chinese are not going to be so simple-minded as to talk directly to servers in China. They’ll talk to the big server farms in New Jersey and Texas, just like everybody else.

    There’s no doubt the Chinese are spying. Like bank robbers going where the money is, they’ll go where the technological information is. But who’s pinging whom is not exactly a hot trail of fingerprints.

    […] more than two dozen universities in the U.S. and around the globe as part of an elaborate scheme to steal research about maritime technology being developed for military use, according to cybersecurity experts and current and former U.S. […]


    Leave a Comment

    Leave a Reply

    You must be logged in to post a comment.

    Notify me of followup comments via e-mail (or subscribe without commenting.)

    Font Resize
    Contrast Mode
    Send this to a friend