China: Chinese hackers were found to be behind attacks on 27 different universities located throughout the United States, Canada, and South-East Asia. All of the targeted universities are engaged in research related to subsurface combat. Currently, it is believed that the Chinese group MUDCARP, also known as TEMP.PERISCOPE, Periscope, and Leviathan, was behind the attack campaign. The group sent phishing emails posing as members of partner universities in an attempt to infiltrate networks and steal data related to submarine technologies being produced by cleared defense contractors. China has put a heavy focus in recent decades on its subsurface combat operations and platforms, so it is not surprising that they would put a priority on the theft of data related to other nations’ programs.
Universities make for much easier targets than government instillations for cyber-espionage because of their access to high level research data and typically weaker security measures.