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Cyberattack on Xi’an university under investigation

By CUI JIA | | Updated: 2022-06-23 12:44
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Police are investigating a cyberattack launched from overseas on the email system of Northwestern Polytechnical University in Xi'an, Shaanxi province. Key evidence on the attack has been secured, local police said on Thursday.

At around 3 pm on April 12, a police station at Xi'an's Beilin district received a report from the university's information administration department saying it has found phishing emails with Trojan horse programs pretending to be research reviews, invitations to academic events and opportunities to study abroad, Beilin police said in a statement.

The emails attempted to trick students and teachers at the university — known for its education and research programs in the fields of aeronautics, astronautics and marine technology engineering — into clicking on links and giving away their sign-in information, which would result in potential data leaks, it added.

An initial investigation found that the cyberattack was carried out by overseas hackers and has posed a grave threat to the university's information system, putting the personal data of students and teachers at risk. Phishing emails and their Trojan horse programs used in the attack have been obtained as key evidence, local police said.

The university said in a statement on Wednesday that so far, the attack has not lead to any key data leaks, but it still represents a huge risk.

It noted that the university has been paying a great deal of attention to cyberattacks, with the application of regular cybersecurity inspections and technical monitoring as well as heightened awareness among teachers and students.

The university reserves the right to take further legal action and will take measures to build a strong network security barrier and better protect the legitimate rights and interests of teachers and students, it added.

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