Beijing has long accused the US of cyber attacks on Chinese targets. But it recently accused the US National Security Agency of hacking specific targets.
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The US Secret Service gained access to China’s telecommunications network after hacking a university, Chinese state media reported on Thursday.
The US National Security Agency used phishing – a hacking technique where a malicious link is included in an email – to gain access to the government-funded Northwestern Polytechnic University, the Global Times claims, citing an unnamed source.
U.S. hackers stole “core technology data including configuration of key network equipment, network management data, and basic operational data” and other files, the Global Times reported.
In the NSA hack, the agency infiltrated Chinese telecom operators so the US could “control the country’s infrastructure,” according to the Global Times.
The NSA was not immediately available for comment when contacted by CNBC. The hack has not been verified by CNBC.
Citing its unnamed source, The Global Times said more details about the Northwestern Polytechnical University attack would be released soon.
China has accused the US of cyberattacks for several years, but has not been specific. In the past few weeks, however, Beijing has been more vocal in attributing specific attacks to the US, amid an increase in cyber tensions between the two nations.
Conversely, Washington and US cyber security firms have attributed specific attacks to China in the past few years.
The alleged attack on Northwest Polytechnic University was first revealed by China’s National Computer Virus Emergency Response Center earlier this month. The agency also accused the US of engaging in “tens of thousands” of cyber attacks against Chinese targets.
The US has accused China of massive hacking operations. FBI Director Christopher Wray he said in February that China’s cyberattacks have become “more brazen and more destructive than ever.”
Wray accused China of trying to steal American information and technology.