US charges four Chinese nationals accused in global hacking campaign

WASHINGTON, July 19 (Reuters) – Four Chinese nationals have been charged in a global hacking campaign targeting dozens of businesses, universities and government agencies in the United States and abroad, the ministry said on Monday. American Justice.

The charges were announced as the United States and a coalition of allies accused China’s State Security Ministry on Monday of a global cyber-hacking campaign, specifically attributing a large Microsoft attack that was disclosed earlier this year. to pirates working for Beijing. Read more

The hack was sponsored by the State Security Ministry and focused on information that would significantly benefit Chinese businesses and enterprises, including research and development processes, according to the cited indictment. by the Ministry of Justice.

The defendants’ reaction was not immediately available.

The defendants and officials from the Hainan State Security Department (HSSS) attempted to cover up the Chinese government’s role in information theft by using a shell company, according to the indictment, which has was returned in May and unsealed on Friday.

The campaign targeted trade secrets in sectors such as aviation, defense, education, government, healthcare, biopharmaceutical and maritime industries, according to a Justice Department statement.

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 underscore once again that China continues to use cyber attacks to steal what other countries are doing, in blatant disregard of its bilateral and multilateral commitments,” said the United States Deputy Attorney General, Lisa Monaco, in the press release.

He said the two-count indictment alleges that Ding Xiaoyang, Cheng Qingmin and Zhu Yunmin were HSSD agents tasked with coordinating hackers and front company linguists.

The fourth defendant, Wu Shurong, an employee of shell company Hainan Xiandun Technology Development Co. Ltd., “created malware, hacked into computer systems operated by foreign governments, companies and universities, and supervised other hackers from Hainan Xiandun, ”the Justice Ministry said. .

Reporting by Doina Chiacu and Lisa Lambert; Editing by Mark Heinrich

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