German chemicals company Bayer says it was target of cyberattack traced to China

German chemicals company Bayer said Thursday that it was the target of a cyberattack that has been traced to a hacking group in China.

In a statement to The Hill, Bayer said its in-house cybersecurity team found malicious software related to the Winnti hacking group in the company's system in early 2018.

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“Our Cyber Defense Center detected indications of Winnti infections at the beginning of 2018 and initiated comprehensive analyses,” the chemical manufacturer explained.

Bayer said that it was able to avert the attack and that there are “no signs of data outflow.”

“Our experts at the Cyber Defense Center have identified, analyzed and cleaned up the affected systems, working in close collaboration with the German Cyber Security Organization (DCSO) and the State Criminal Police Office of North Rhine-Westphalia,” Bayer said.

German public broadcasters Bayerischer Rundfunk and NDR reported that the software was also discovered on steel and engineering company Thyssenkrupp's systems in 2016.

According to The Associated Press, security researchers at Kaspersky Lab claimed in 2013 that Winnti “has Chinese origins.”