Chinese hackers targeting universities for maritime technology: report

Chinese hackers targeting universities for maritime technology: report
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Chinese hackers have targeted nearly 30 universities around the world as part of an effort to steal research about maritime technology, The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday.

The news outlet cited research from iDefense, a cybersecurity intelligence unit of Accenture Security, that showed Chinese hackers have targeted the University of Hawaii, the University of Washington and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, among others. 

There are reportedly at least two other universities in the U.S., Canada and Southeast Asia that have been targeted as part of the effort to acquire research about technology developed for military use.

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The effort dates to at least April 2017, iDefense found. The group identified universities targeted in the hacks after noticing their networks were pinging servers located in China and controlled by a known Chinese hacking group, according to the Journal.

Chinese officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment from the Journal, but the publication noted the country has in the past denied involvement in cyberattacks. 

The Trump administration has taken a hard-line stance against China for its alleged theft of intellectual property, and earlier this year filed charges against telecommunications giant Huawei.

The indictments allege that the company stole intellectual property from T-Mobile and also violated U.S. sanction orders.

Meanwhile, the administration is in the middle of trade negotiations with Chinese officials in an effort to avert an escalation of an ongoing trade war.