U.S. charges two Chinese in hacking case

Dec 23, 2018, 00:51
U.S. charges two Chinese in hacking case

The UK government said it was joining allies in holding the Chinese government responsible for a global campaign targeting commercial secrets.

"We urge the United States side to immediately correct its erroneous actions and cease its slanderous smears relating to internet security", it said, adding that it would take necessary measures to safeguard its own cyber-security and interests.

Britain - the U.S. ally, joined the United States over the charges with foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt saying that Beijing always continued to hack country's computer system for economic and commercial motives. They then stole hundreds of gigabytes of sensitive data and information from the including from companies and agencies across different sectors, including the NASA Goddard Space Center and Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The information stolen could give Chinese companies access to business secrets of competitors, offering an unfair advantage. The Justice Department says the two men were members of a hacking group operating in China within a community known as Advanced Persistent Threat 10.

Mr. Li said that if Mr. Zhu and Mr. Zhang travel to other countries that have signed treaties with the United States, they could be detained for possible extradition, as was the case with Chinese tech executive Meng Wanzhou's recent arrest in Canada.

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The Australian federal government has called on China to close down a global plot by an intelligence service-backed hacking group to steal intellectual property from the West.

He said the scale of the hacking was "shocking and outrageous". IBM said it had no evidence that sensitive data had been compromised.

Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said in a statement Friday that the indictment severely violates the basic norms of worldwide relations and damages U.S. Through state news agencies, Chinese officials claimed Western countries pulled the cyber-theft accusations "out of thin air".

The alleged hackers, one of whom is nicknamed "Godkiller", are accused of breaching computer networks beginning as early as 2006 in a range of industries, including aviation and space, finance, biotechnology oil and gas, satellites and pharmaceuticals. He did not name the businesses.

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The US authorities say the indicted hackers, identified as Zhu Hua and Zhang Shilon, worked for Huaying Haitai Science and Technology Development Company and were contracted by China as cyber mercenaries.

Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) director-general Andrew Hampton said the organisation had established links between the Chinese Ministry of State Security (MSS) and a global campaign of cyber-enabled commercial intellectual property theft. The group also allegedly targeted more than 40 computers to steal confidential data belonging to the U.S. Navy, which included the personal information of more than 100,000 personnel.

A Navy spokesman said that sailors are notified immediately when there is a data breach, but declined further comment due to an ongoing investigation.

The Theresa May government on Thursday said the United Kingdom and its allies were naming "elements of the Chinese government" for allegedly indulging in an "extensive cyber campaign" targeting commercial secrets in Asia, Europe and the United States.

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"We urge the U.S.to immediately correct its wrong actions, stop slandering and blackening China on the cyber security issue, and withdraw the so-called indictment of Chinese citizens, so as to avoid serious damage to China-U.S. relations and bilateral cooperation in relevant fields", stated Chunying.

The charges are the latest move by the Trump administration to demonstrate how China has routinely violated an informal anti-espionage or "data theft" agreement between former President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping, which came about in 2015 after US threats to retaliate over the China's persistent use of hackers to steal new technologies.

Who are the alleged hackers?

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