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Australian National U has been fighting hackers for months


By Jesse Schwartz
Published: July 11th, 2018

Australian National University (ANU), the country’s top-ranked school, recently announced it has been fighting off a threat to its computer systems for several months, and media reports say Chinese hackers are behind the attacks.

ANU is home to a number of defense-focused research units, which were breached months ago by hackers traced to China, according to Channel 9 television and Fiarfax Media websites, citing multiple unnamed security and intelligence sources.

The university released a statement claiming it believed that no staff, student or research information had been stolen as a result of the threat.

The Australian government commented that “nation states and criminal groups” are known to target universities to steal intellectual property, but neither China nor any other country or group was specifically mentioned. China has consistently and firmly denied ever being involved in any hacking attacks.

“We don’t have information on this specific incident, [but] organizations which conduct research with defense applications are regularly targets of advanced cyber attacks,” says Tim Wellsmore of the cybersecurity firm FireEye. “We have observed Chinese state-sponsored attackers target research institutions in Australia in recent years, and we have observed other state-sponsored groups targeting these institutions in Asia.”

A spokeswoman for the Australian government says it is “working closely” with ANU on addressing the recent attacks.

Source: Euronews

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