Baidu Inc. has revealed that a gang of “hackers-for-hire” tried to steal its driverless car technology, prompting it to bulk up its cybersecurity team.

The Beijing-based company’s head of cybersecurity, Ma Jie, said it was unclear who was behind the gang. “It’s very difficult to know who employs them to do that, but we know someone tried to hire someone in the underground market to steal from us,” Ma said, without giving further details.

Baidu’s cybersecurity team works around the clock testing new products and fending off attacks against its systems. The company is supporting Blue Lotus, a team of  “white hat” student hackers at Tsinghua University. “If we can help students find the right way, that means less enemies in the future,” said Ma.

Baidu has also teamed up with rival tech firms Tencent and Alibaba to counter the shared cybersecurity threat.

“The underground industry is getting bigger, and getting stronger so we must help each other against the whole underground industry,” said Ma. “We’re not enemies, they are the enemy.”

©2017 Bloomberg L.P.

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Photo Credit: A Baidu 'map car,' which is a self-driving vehicle as shown in Beijing April 29, 2016. Hackers are after Baidu's self-driving car tech. Kentaro Iemoto /