'Chinese hackers' breach US defense and tech companies – and HUNDREDS more firms are at risk

SUSPECTED Chinese hackers breached US defense and tech firms and hundreds more are now at risk.

According to a National Security Agency joint investigation, globally, at least 13 organizations in the defense, health care, energy and transportation fields were breached.

Cybersecurity firm Palo Alto Networks is expected to warn companies in a report set to be published on Thursday.

Per the NSA, hackers stole passwords from organizations to intercept sensitive communications.

According to CNN, Palo Alto Networks identified about 600 cases in the US of systems running a type of vulnerable software that the hackers have exploited.

The researchers said that included installations at 23 universities, 14 state or local governments, and 10 health care organizations.

"This adversary has aggressively targeted organizations in the United States and elsewhere in defense, technology and other critical sectors," Ryan Olson, vice president of Palo Alto Networks' Unit 42 division, told the outlet.

"While we're still learning more about the impact of these attacks, we urge organizations to quickly patch vulnerable systems and follow recommendations for determining whether they've been compromised," the VP added.

Officials said the ultimate impact of the hackers is not yet clear because investigations of the breaches are ongoing.

In November, CNN reported that cybersecurity researchers identified just one victimized US organization; however, since then, the number has grown to at least five confirmed and ould continue to grow.

The news comes after Pentagon officials revealed that China fired a hypersonic nuclear missile, which traveled five times faster than the speed of sound.

No country had previously been able to demonstrate this advanced engineering feat, and the test is said to have caught Pentagon scientists off guard.

The missile was reportedly first fired in August, shocking the world, as now it's revealed the weapon is far more advanced than initially thought.

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