Chinese Cyber-Spies Target US-Based Research University
In April of this year, FireEye security experts detected and eventually stopped a cyberattack on a research university located in the United States. Interesting detail: the attack was launched by the notorious Chinese state-backed cyber espionage group APT41.
The attackers went after an Internet-facing web server and managed to exploit a flaw that enabled them to upload a custom web shell and a backdoor onto the vulnerable server. They also managed to obtain one credential, but a more elaborate data harvesting attempt failed, and FireEye managed to shut down the attack before it escalated further. Universities are a popular target for Chinese state-sponsored hackers looking to steal intellectual property that can boost military and other research and development efforts in China.