A cyber-security firm is reporting that Alaska was targeted by hackers using computers in China.
The company, Recorded Future, documents repeated attempts to connect to several networks in Alaska before and after the state sent a trade delegation to China in May.
According to the report, the scanning activity spiked when Gov. Bill Walker announced the visit to China in March and again just after the delegation left the country.
The data shows that Alaska Communications Systems Group, or ACS, and Alaska Power and Telephone Company were targeted in addition to the state’s Department of Natural Resources.
There’s evidence that the scanning came from internet connections registered to Tsinghua University in Beijing.
Walker’s administration is pushing back against the report.
Press Secretary Austin Baird said there was web traffic targeting the state but no hack actually happened.
“The state of Alaska like most state governments, like most businesses, like most companies that do business online or do business internationally, there’s routinely anonymous activity on the perimeter networks that amounts to someone checking if the door is locked,” Baird said.
Baird said the state does not believe that China was the original source of the scanning activity.
He said the state contacted law enforcement as a precautionary measure but doesn’t plan to do any further investigation into the source of the web traffic.
Things are happening in Alaska
Jump straight to the exciting parts with insightful (and entertaining) Alaska news from The Signal, the news email you’ll wish came more than once a week.
- Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy is scheduled to announce at 2 p.m. Monday whether he’s signed or vetoed permanent fund dividends and reversals of his earlier budget vetoes. The announcement will be delivered in a video address, which you can watch here when it becomes publicly available.
- Gov. Dunleavy has reversed himself and declared support for subsidized broadband internet for rural libraries and a free service allowing online tutors for students. The governor had previously vetoed the $809,100 in funding.
- A 19-mile stretch of the Parks Highway was closed some 80 miles north of Anchorage, as authorities called for the evacuation of a subdivision that only has one road in and out.
- Master Gardener Ed Buyarski describes how humans can intervene and help out with the pollination process.