In response to Washington's allegations of cyber espionage, China has recently accused a US intelligence agency of hacking aerospace research programs and a state-funded university.
The attacks on Northwest Polytechnic University in Xi'an were carried out by the Special Access Operations Office of the National Security Agency (NSA), according to a statement from the China National Computer Virus Emergency Response Center. After a report of an outside attack in June, a team from headquarters and 360 Security Technology Inc examined the university's information systems.
In recent years, the NSA claimed to have carried out more than 140 "evil" attacks on Chinese targets, collecting more than 10.000 gigabytes of "high-value" data. Both the NSA and the US Embassy in Beijing declined requests for comment Monday.
China has become more prominent in the claims of American government agencies, while Beijing and Washington have set the scene on cyber espionage. For its part, the United States has struggled to distinguish between its activities for national security reasons and China's alleged industrial espionage against American companies.
Federal Bureau of Investigation director Christopher Wray warned Western businesses in July that China intends to "search" for their intellectual property in order to ultimately control key industries. During Chinese President Xi Jinping's state visit to Washington in 2015, both countries have previously pledged not to support cyber theft of intellectual property or trade secrets.
According to Samantha Hoffman, a senior analyst at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, China has more specific accusations of US cyberattacks. She suggested that the United States should respond by providing specific information about Chinese actors involved in espionage.
He noted that instead of focusing on what most intelligence services are doing, the United States and its partners should try to explain why China's involvement in this area is unusual. Of course, it is likely that China will continue to make similar claims in response, which may or may not be true.
China has historically responded to similar criticisms by portraying itself as a victim of hacking, mocking the US as a "hacker empire" and citing allegations of US espionage by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden a decade ago.
One of these was the claim that the NSA had accessed the computers of Tsinghua University, one of China's leading academic institutions.
Beijing recently changed its approach, accusing the US of hacking and naming targets. Chinese cybersecurity firm Pangu Lab said in February it had found evidence of US-backed hacking activities in China. He claimed to have found malware on local IT systems made by Equation, the hacking organization "widely thought" to be linked to the NSA.
According to Greg Austin, an expert on Chinese cyber activities at the International Institute for Strategic Studies in Singapore, the change was made to raise public awareness of US activities and to undo diplomatic action from the US and its allies. He has long accused China of attacking.
“The information that the United States government and its allies have made public about China differs significantly from the information China has made public about American and allied attacks. We learned very little from Chinese officials about the extent of the American attacks.”
Meanwhile, he claimed that the United States and its allies increased spending on surveillance and espionage against China and Russia.
Northwestern Polytechnical University, affiliated with the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, which offers research programs in aerospace and marine technology engineering, was the site of the alleged hacks, according to China Central Television and other major state media outlets.
The report was also tweeted and published on Weibo by the Communist Party magazine Global Times. Weibo's most talked about topic on Monday garnered 210 million views and became news.
According to a statement released by Xi'an police in June, the agency claimed to have found phishing emails that pose a "serious security hazard" to important databases.
📩 06/09/2022 13:29