Last week, Pennsylvania State University revealed that its engineering school's computers have been exposed to hackers, allegedly based in China, for over two years. The breach, uncovered after "lengthy" analysis by both federal and private investigators, accessed research that is potentially linked to technology for the US department of defence.
Though there is no evidence that personal information or research data was compromised, the university has alerted its 500 partners, which include multiple government agencies, about the potential risks of the breach.
Working with network security firm, FireEye Inc., the "forensic analysis" linked Chinese hackers behind "at least one of the two separate groups" that were involved in the engineering school's data breach, according to online news sources. However, the Chinese embassy spokesman, Zua Haiquan, told the press that China has made "great efforts" to thwart cyber-crime and warns that pointing the finger and "jumping to conclusions" is "counterproductive."
Still, Chinese hackers have been known to target US engineering schools, including Johns Hopkins University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology.