• Mon
  • Dec 22, 2014
  • Updated: 12:22pm
Edward Snowden
NewsChina

EXCLUSIVE: NSA targeted China's Tsinghua University in extensive hacking attacks, says Snowden

Tsinghua University, widely regarded as the mainland’s top education and research institute, was the target of extensive hacking by US spies this year

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 22 June, 2013, 11:24pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 13 August, 2013, 3:45pm
 

Tsinghua University in Beijing, widely regarded as the mainland’s top education and research institute, was the target of extensive hacking by US spies this year, according to information leaked by Edward Snowden.

It is not known how many times the prestigious university has been attacked by the NSA but details shown to the Post by Snowden reveal that one of the most recent breaches was this January.

The information also showed that the attacks on Tsinghua University were intensive and concerted efforts. In one single day of January, at least 63 computers and servers in Tsinghua University have been hacked by the NSA.

Snowden said the information he shared on the Tsinghua University attacks provided evidence of NSA hacking because the specific details of external and internal internet protocol addresses could only have been obtained by hacking or with physical access to the computers.

The university is home to one of the mainland’s six major backbone networks, the China Education and Research Network (CERNET) from where internet data from millions of Chinese citizens could be mined.

The network was the country’s first internet backbone network and has evolved into the world’s largest national research hub.

It is one of the mainland’s non-commercial networks, owned by the Ministry of Education, but operated and maintained by the university and other colleges.

Universities in Hong Kong and the mainland were revealed as targets of NSA’s cyber-snooping activities last week when Snowden claimed the Chinese University of Hong Kong had been hacked.

Chinese University is home to the Hong Kong Internet Exchange, the city’s central hub for all internet traffic.

Snowden said the NSA was focusing much attention on so-called “network backbones”, through which vast amounts of date passed.

In the wake of Snowden’s claims, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs set up an office to deal with diplomatic activities involving cyber security.

The new cyber affairs office is the first of its kind on the mainland with a Foreign Ministry spokeswoman saying that Beijing, long accused of cyberhacking by the United States, has been a “a major victim” of cyberattacks and that it opposed “cyberattacks in all forms”.

She added that the central government would discuss cybersecurity issues with the United States at next month’s Sino-US strategic and security dialogue.

Professor Xu Ke, deputy director of the Institute of Computer Networks at Tsinghua University, has previously said that most data passing through network backbones was not encrypted.

Xu said most attacks on such networks were carried out by governments because individual hackers “could gain little”, as the amount of information they faced would be “colossal”.

Only governments or large organisations would have the resources and manpower to “find the needle in a haystack”, he said.

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This article is now closed to comments

SanFranciscan

Ever heard of the notorious Anglo Big Brothers? The Big Five of CIA,NSA,DIA,NGA,NRO in coordination with satellite stations throughout the territories of five Anglo nations of U.S,Canada,U.K,Australia & NewZealand - known as Five Eyes, and their worldwide hacking has been a constant warning since last year in China Daily. [Google 'Sicko Uncle Sam' at the CD Forum for more].
bo.yu.393
the US government blaming china hacking on them can now slap their own face.
utester.thapa
Well! Snowden is not in favour of USA or China or any other country. It is just obvious. He doesn't want to work in an unsecured environment (his human side has been touched) where the country snoops each other for gaining upper hand. He felt that people cannot live normal happy life if there are organisations who felt threatened and established to seek hidden information. Who want their own secrets to be comprised by others. Ethically unethical policy!
bo.yu.393
Snowden is not in favor of any country. he just wanted to tell the world the biggest threat to the world from US government.
bo.yu.393
yes. shoking but that is not new. NSA has been hacking the world since it was born, more than 50 years, as disclosed by a former NSA worker in a recent news article.
ablewang
US has given everybody the green light to hack into their American universities to "collect useful data".
bo.yu.393
the US government does not deny the fact they are doing that. but they would not stop anything.
KwunTongBypass
種族主義白痴
norodnik
AUYEUNGY - you don't recognise sarcasim when you read it...
auyeungy
I don't like this president anymore than you do, but this guy is in well over his head in this job. I have serious doubts that he was even aware of what's going on in NSA all this time. So I wouldn't pin this one on him.

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