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    China releases more evidence of cyberattacks by US security agency

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    BEIJING, Sept. 27 (Xinhua) — China released a new investigative report on Tuesday, saying new evidence has been found to show that the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) is behind “thousands of cyberattacks” against a Chinese university.

    With the technical support of a number of countries in Europe and Southeast Asia, Chinese experts were able to trace the technical characteristics, attack weapons and routes used in the cyberattack against Northwest China Polytechnic University, according to the report released by China‘s National Computer Virus Emergency Agency. Response Center in collaboration with Internet security company 360.They discovered that these attacks came from the NSA-affiliated Office of Tailored Access Operation (TAO), which had revealed its own technical flaws and fakes not operational during the attack, according to the report.An earlier investigation revealed that 41 types of cyber weapons were used by TAO in the recently disclosed cyber attacks against the university.Among of the 41 types of cyberattack tools, 16 are identical to TAO weapons that have been exposed by the hacker group “Shadow Brokers”, and 23 share a 97% genetic similarity with those deployed by the TAO, according to the report. The remaining two types are to be used in conjunction with other TAO cyberattack weapons, the report says, adding that the homology of the weapons suggests they all belong to TAO.The analysis technique revealed that working time, language and communication habits behavior of cyber attackers, as well as operation errors also revealed their links with TAO. The report details the process of TAO’s infiltration into the Chinese university’s internal network. TAO first used “FoxAcid”, a man-in-the-middle attack platform, to hack into the university’s host computer and internal servers, then took control of several key servers with remote control weapons. He then controlled some important network node equipment, including the university’s internal routers and switches, and stole authentication data.Hiding in the university’s operations and maintenance servers, TAO stole several network equipment configuration key files, which were used to “validly” monitor a batch of network equipment and Internet users. The Chinese investigation team discovered that TAO had captured information personal information on certain people with a sensitive identity on the Chinese mainland. The information was sent back to NSA headquarters via multiple jump servers.The report states that the true identities of 13 attackers have been discovered.The report, revealing details of US cyberattacks on the Chinese university, was published to offer lessons to countries around the world so that they can more effectively identify and prevent CAT cyberattacks.

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