More US-China Tensions: China Claims US Took Control Of Telecom Network Post Space Research University Hack

  • The U.S. intelligence agents hacked into a government-funded Northwestern Polytechnical University known for its aeronautics and space research programs and gained control of parts of China's telecommunications network.
  • The National Security Agency's cyber-warfare unit "penetrated and controlled" unnamed telecom operators, Bloomberg reports citing the Global Times. 
  • The U.S. gained remote access to the core networks through an email phishing attack on a leading university, opening a route into the carriers. 
  • The attackers made off with network equipment, administrative passwords, file-transfer protocols, and other sensitive data.
  • China's leading network carriers included China Mobile LtdChina Unicom, and China Telecom Corp.
  • China reported the discovery of U.S.-sponsored malware in domestic IT systems with NSA links.
  • A September cybersecurity analysis of the university's information systems found the NSA had collected more than 140 gigabytes of data of "great value," spanning more than 10,000 cyberattacks against Chinese targets in recent years.
  • Beijing and Washington have been at loggerheads over cyber-snooping, with China becoming more direct in naming American agencies as perpetrators. 
  • The U.S. has in the past blamed China for widespread industrial espionage.
  • A former Europe station chief for the U.S. intelligence agency CIA claimed that the "Chinese intelligence operatives are on a par with the Russians."
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