Chinese nationals acting on behalf China’s intelligence indicted: DOJ
December 20, 2018 | Brainwave Science
According to Reuters, U.S. prosecutors unsealed an indictment that charges two Chinese nationals with computer hacking attacks on a broad range of U.S. government agencies and corporations, including the Navy and the space agency NASA, according to a court filing. Two nationals of the People’s Republic of China (China) identified as Zhu Hua and Zhang Jianguo, worked in China to hack into computers to steal intellectual property and confidential business and technological data, according to an indictment. U.S. authorities said the two worked in association with the Chinese ministry of state security.
Zhu and Zhang were members of a hacking group operating in China known within the cyber security community as Advanced Persistent Threat 10 (the APT10 Group). The defendants worked for a company in China called Huaying Haitai Science and Technology Development Company and acted in association with the Chinese Ministry of State Security’s Tianjin State Security Bureau. “The indictment alleges that the defendants were part of a group that hacked computers in at least a dozen countries and gave China’s intelligence service access to sensitive business information,” said Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein. “This is outright cheating and theft, and it gives China an unfair advantage at the expense of law-abiding businesses and countries that follow the international rules in return for the privilege of participating in the global economic system.”
Hacking targets included the U.S. Navy, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and companies involved aviation, space and satellite technology, the indictment said.
United States Justice Department has put Chinese hackers on notice, “We want China to stop its illegal cyber activities,” said Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein in announcing the charges.
The U.S. actions could add to already tense relations between Washington and Beijing. The two countries, which boast the No. 1 and No. 2 economies in the world, are in the midst of a bruising trade dispute that has seen both sides slap tariffs on the other. Situation is very complex in wake of rising tensions between Beijing and Ottawa following the arrest of Huawei chief financial officer Meng in Vancouver on December 1 at behest of the US. “China is one of the most prolific actors in the economic espionage space, having invested in cyber espionage in a way that is unprecedented in other countries,” says Eric O’Neill, Carbon Black’s national security strategist and a former FBI operative best known for his role in the capture of Soviet spy Robert Hanssen. “The theft of sensitive defense technology and cyber intrusions are major national security concerns and top investigative priorities for the Defense Criminal Investigative Service (DCIS) of the U.S. Department of Defense,” said DCIS Director O’Reilly. “The indictments unsealed today are the direct result of a joint investigative effort between DCIS and its law enforcement partners to vigorously investigate individuals and groups who illegally access information technology systems of the U.S. Department of Defense and the Defense Industrial Base. DCIS remains vigilant in our efforts to safeguard the integrity of the Department of Defense and its enterprise of information technology systems.”
Even in the wake of overwhelming evidence, China continues to deny and complains that western media have repeatedly depicted China as the villain behind the scenes.
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