ChinaJuly 22 2022, 13:23 pm

47 German Universities Cooperate with Chinese Universities Connected to State-Directed Hacker Groups, Report Finds

Ger­man media is report­ing that at least 47 Ger­man uni­ver­si­ties are coop­er­at­ing with Chi­nese uni­ver­si­ties sus­pect­ed of being close to state-direct­ed hack­er groups, even though some of these insti­tu­tions have already been vic­tims of hack­ing attacks. Accord­ing to a report by Correctiv:

July 21, 2022, Accord­ing to the Office for the Pro­tec­tion of the Con­sti­tu­tion, sus­pect­ed Chi­nese state hack­er groups are tar­get­ing sci­en­tif­ic insti­tu­tions in Ger­many. Instead of invest­ing mil­lions, research results can be sim­ply stolen. Ger­man uni­ver­si­ties are an easy tar­get — and often remark­ably care­less: Sev­er­al coop­er­ate with Chi­nese uni­ver­si­ties, where state hack­ers are trained.  […]  CORRECTIV research shows how lit­tle aware­ness Ger­man research insti­tu­tions seem to have of the issue. For exam­ple, at least 47 Ger­man uni­ver­si­ties coop­er­ate or have coop­er­at­ed with one or more of six Chi­nese uni­ver­si­ties that, accord­ing to a report by the U.S.-based Cen­ter for Secu­ri­ty and Emerg­ing Tech­nol­o­gy (CSET), are alleged­ly close to state-con­trolled hack­er groups. And that’s despite the fact that some of the Ger­man insti­tu­tions involved, such as TU Berlin, have already been vic­tims of hack­er attacks them­selves. The front-run­ner in this ques­tion­able col­lab­o­ra­tion is RWTH Aachen Uni­ver­si­ty, with four col­lab­o­ra­tions. Behind it come TU Berlin and TU Munich, each with three col­lab­o­ra­tions.   Con­front­ed with this, the RWTH com­mu­ni­cates: It is aware that the Chi­nese coop­er­a­tion part­ners are close to hack­er groups. How­ev­er, the uni­ver­si­ty does not want to pub­licly dis­cuss the “reclas­si­fi­ca­tion or ter­mi­na­tion of part­ner­ships”. It also reports that it has already been the vic­tim of attacks whose ori­gin could not be clear­ly deter­mined. The TU Munich did not want to com­ment on this when asked. Accord­ing to CORRECTIV research, at least four sci­en­tif­ic pub­li­ca­tions have also result­ed from this Ger­man-Chi­nese coop­er­a­tion in the past four years. [Trans­lat­ed with DeepL]

Read the rest here.

Accord­ing to a report by the US-based Cen­ter for Secu­ri­ty and Emerg­ing Tech­nol­o­gy (CSET) cit­ed in the Cor­rec­tiv arti­cle, the fol­low­ing Chi­nese uni­ver­si­ties are con­nect­ed to state-backed hack­er groups:

  • Hainan Uni­ver­si­ty
  • South­east University
  • Shang­hai Jiao Tong University
  • Xid­i­an University
  • Zhe­jiang University
  • Harbin Insti­tute of Technology

The Cor­rec­tiv arti­cle was pub­lished as part of the “Chi­na Sci­ence Inves­ti­ga­tion” project, which research­es sci­en­tif­ic col­lab­o­ra­tions and ties between Chi­nese sci­en­tists and Euro­pean knowl­edge insti­tu­tions. The Chi­na Sci­ence Inves­ti­ga­tion shows that Euro­pean uni­ver­si­ties are col­lab­o­rat­ing on a large scale with Chi­nese mil­i­tary insti­tutes, shar­ing mil­i­tar­i­ly sen­si­tive knowl­edge and help­ing Chi­na to build the world’s most mod­ern army. The Chi­na Sci­ence inves­ti­ga­tion con­sists of eleven lead­ing Euro­pean news­pa­pers, which will con­duct fur­ther research in the com­ing months and pub­lish more arti­cles. So far, more than 38 arti­cles have been pub­lished in Ger­many, Switzer­land, Bel­gium, Italy, Den­mark, and the Nether­lands. The Glob­al Influ­ence Oper­a­tions Report will close­ly mon­i­tor these developments.


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