Hackers from China have attempted cyberattacks on around 27 universities from across the world, with the University of Washington and Massachusetts Institute of Technology among targets, Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday.
Cybersecurity professionals and U.S. officials have said that these attacks are part of China’s plans to steal maritime technology research of the U.S. military, the report noted.
iDefense, a unit of Accenture Security, said most of the targeted universities have facilities tailored for undersea technology research or equivalent expertise. A fraction of the identified targets have contracts with U.S. Navy.
Analysts from iDefense also said that some targets are situated near the South China Sea.
Various security firms said the hackers are performing attacks from Beijing and are also the same source of previous breaches against Navy-commissioned contractors. These previous breaches targeted information regarding sensitive matters such as maintenance data and submarine missile plans, the report noted.