WHAT do we call this?
IS it gross stupidity on our part to have allowed this situation to occur in the first place?
IS this sufficient proof to confirm we have been …
-taken for a ride
–been let down by our universities and by our governments
HAS this the potential to come back and bite us?
Should this stop?
Do you think?
The Chinese academics from labs linked to military who studied in Australia
Updated 27 NOVEMBER 2019
Two scholars at a NSW university have been linked to Chinese research centres that have reportedly carried out cyber attacks and espionage for the nation’s military.
- Two visiting professors at the University of Wollongong may have ties to “high-risk” Chinese schools
- The University of Wollongong said it is concerned about the allegations
- The Australian Strategic Policy Institute said the professors’ links should be probed
One of the scholars attended the University of Wollongong’s (UOW) cybersecurity centre several years ago while visiting from a Chinese laboratory allegedly implicated in executing cyber attacks against foreign countries.
The other scholar, who is working at the university, is visiting from a Chinese physics academy considered “very high-risk” by security experts due to its ties to the country’s nuclear weapons program.
A third academic, a professor who was accused by US media outlets of being a military liaison, co-authored a recent research paper on encrypted coding with the UOW.
*The revelations come 24 hours after the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) released a report warning Australian universities were unwittingly creating security risks by collaborating with Chinese schools.*
ASPI is an independent, not-for-profit think tank specialising in defence, national security and cyber issues.
It identified several “high-risk” universities on mainland China that had military ties and had also sent academics to Australia.
8The ABC found research papers showing UOW had collaborated with two Chinese professors whose online resumes revealed they worked at these “high-risk” schools.
*ASPI’s cyber policy researcher Alex Joske said both professors’ links to the centres should be probed.
“These centres are considered high-risk because of multiple claims they are linked to cyber espionage,” Mr Joske said.
“These researchers were looking at methods of getting access to secured systems or secured information.
*“Australia strictly controls cryptographic technology and there is a potential for people to have taken that technology back to China.”
A UOW spokesman said the university was concerned about the allegations.
*The spokesman said two of the professors no longer worked with the university and that it was the Federal Government’s role to screen foreign visitors.
“Some of the research collaborations referred to by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, and in subsequent media reporting, pre-date the introduction of the Defence Trade Controls Act 2012,” he said.
“International PhD students and visiting academics are required to obtain a visa before undertaking research at the University of Wollongong.
“This involves providing the Australian Government with extensive personal information for assessment.”
Alleged military connections
The resume and research papers show one professor studied and worked at China’s prestigious Wuhan University in the Laboratory of Aerospace Information Security and Trusted Computing since the 1990s.
Her resume reveals she worked with a professor there, who has been accused by US media outlets of being a liaison between the laboratory and the Chinese military.
US and Taiwanese media outlets have previously alleged the centre, 800 kilometres west of Shanghai, is funded by China’s military and linked to cyber attacks on Taiwan.
The professor was previously hosted by UOW at its Cybersecurity and Cryptography centre and undertook a collaborative research project.
Several years later, another professor from the same Chinese lab wrote a research paper on infiltrating security systems alongside a UOW academic.
That professor has been identified by US media outlets as having close ties to China’s military.
It is understood the professors are still working at Wuhan University.
But papers show the academic being hosted by the University of Wollongong has also worked for a research centre that may have ties to China’s military apparatus.
He is visiting from the Chinese Academy of Engineering Physics (CAEP) — the nation’s sole nuclear weapons development facility.
ASPI said that facility had been involved in two alleged espionage cases in the US during the 1980s and 90s.
ASPI has classified the CAEP as “very high-risk” and warned Australian universities to be wary of visiting academics.