The US Department of Justice said on Monday that four Chinese were charged in a global hacking campaign targeting dozens of companies, universities and government agencies in the United States and abroad.
The allegations were made public as the United States and a coalition of allies on Monday accused China’s Ministry of State Security of a global hacking campaign, revealing a major Microsoft attack earlier this year by hackers working on behalf of Beijing. Read more
The hacking operation was carried out under the auspices of the Ministry of State Security and targeted information that will greatly benefit Chinese companies and companies, including research and development activities, according to the indictment relayed by the Ministry of Justice.
The defendants were unable to respond immediately.
The defendants and officials with the Hainan State Security Administration attempted to conceal the Chinese government’s role in stealing information using a front company, according to the indictment, which was returned in May and revealed on Friday.
According to a statement issued by the Department of Justice, the campaign targeted trade secrets in sectors such as aviation, defense, education, government, healthcare, biopharmaceuticals and shipping.
The victims were in Austria, Cambodia, Canada, Germany, Indonesia, Malaysia, Norway, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States.
“These criminal charges confirm once again that China continues to use cyber attacks to steal what other countries are doing, in blatant disregard of its bilateral and multilateral obligations,” Deputy US Attorney Lisa Monaco said in the statement.
It said the two-count indictment alleges that Deng Xiaoyang, Cheng Qingmin and Zhou Yunmin were HSSD officers responsible for coordinating computer hackers and linguists at front companies.
The Ministry of Justice said the fourth defendant, Wu Shurong, an employee of Hainan Xiandun Technology Development Co., Ltd., “created malware and compromised computer systems run by foreign governments, companies and universities, and oversaw other hackers from Hainan Xiandun.” .
(Reporting by Doina Chiaco and Lisa Lambert) Editing by Mark Heinrich
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