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US Agency Broke Into China’s Telecom Networks, State Media Says

  • Attackers said to have gained control, stolen sensitive data
  • China has stepped up accusations of US cyber-theft this year

US intelligence agents gained control of parts of China’s telecommunications network after hacking into a government-funded university, a prominent state-backed newspaper reported, issuing Beijing’s latest accusation of US cyber-intrusion.

The National Security Agency’s cyber-warfare unit “penetrated and controlled” unnamed telecom operators, the Global Times reported on Thursday, citing information provided by officials. It gained remote access to their core networks through an email phishing attack on a leading university, which then opened a route into the carriers. The attackers made off with network equipment and administrative passwords, file-transfer protocols and other sensitive data, the newspaper said.