The apparent espionage activity that helped the National Security Agency investigate in recent months is more extensive than previously known and has resulted in hackers stealing passwords from target organizations in order to intercept sensitive communications.

Globally, it has now been confirmed that at least 13 organizations in sectors such as defense, healthcare, energy and transportation have violated, warns cybersecurity firm Palo Alto Networks in a report to be released on Thursday.

Palo Alto Networks identified around 600 cases in the US of systems running some type of vulnerable software that the hackers exploited. This includes installations at 23 universities, 14 state or local governments, and 10 health organizations, the researchers said.

It’s the type of digital espionage that the U.S. government has tried for years to uncover before compromising sensitive data related to national security or trade secrets.

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