U.S. indicts Chinese govt hackers over attacks in 12 countries

Rod Rosenstein, Chris Wray announce indictment of Chinese hackers

Rod Rosenstein, Chris Wray announce indictment of Chinese hackers

China's Foreign Ministry said on Friday it resolutely opposed "slanderous" accusations from the United States and other allies criticizing China for economic espionage, urging Washington to withdraw its accusations. And just last week, news broke that Chinese hackers had successfully hacked Navy contractors multiple times over the course of 18 months.

Additionally, Rosenstein said China has violated the 2015 agreement not to conduct cyber economic espionage.

On Thursday, the US Department of Justice indicted two Chinese citizens for hacking and compromising clients in the United States and 11 other countries.

Reuters was unable to immediately locate contact details for Zhu or Zhang.

Australia, Britain, Canada, Japan, the Netherlands, and Sweden are expected to be involved in the condemnation of the hacking.

The FBI said Zhu and Zhang are believed to be in China but it will seek their arrest if they ever leave the country.

GCHQ's summary (PDF, 6 pages) of APT10's tactics said: "Industry partners have reported that data exfiltrated often relates to human resources information, suggesting an interest in the targeted company specifically, as well as potentially developing access to customers and suppliers". A Treasury spokesman declined to address the issue directly, but said: "We don't comment on sanctions actions or deliberations".

"China's goal, simply put, is to replace the U.S.as a world superpower, and they are using illegal means to get there", FBI Director Chris Wray told reporters on Thursday.

The group is said to have engaged in multiple hacking campaigns into computer systems around the world since at least as early as 2006, two of which were specifically referred to in the indictment.

This campaign is one of the most significant and widespread cyber intrusions against the United Kingdom and its allies uncovered to date, targeting trade secrets and economies around the world.

Rod Rosenstein, Chris Wray announce indictment of Chinese hackers

Officials here in Australia and in the USA say the theft would've given the Chinese a commercial advantage.

Beginning in or about 2006, the group breached the computers of more than 45 commercial and defence technology companies in aviation, space and satellite technology, pharmaceutical technology, and others in 12 U.S. states, stealing "hundreds of gigabytes of sensitive data", according to USA prosecutors. He did not name the businesses.

GCSB director-general Andrew Hampton told Morning Report the bureau had identified links between the Chinese Ministry of State Security (MSS) and a campaign that focused on managed service providers, including some that operate in New Zealand.

Ardern told journalists on Monday that she had not read and would not expect to have seen the speech, in which Peters "unashamedly" sought to "enlist greater USA support in the region" in a region that was "becoming more contested and its security is ever more fragile".

Zhu Hua and Zhang Shilong worked for a company called Huaying Haitai and in association with the Chinese Ministry of State Security, the USA court filing says.

The second time was in 2017 when it charged three Chinese nationals, who, it said, were part of another hacking group known as APT3.

"And that essentially takes food from the people of Australia", Mr MacGibbon said.

APT10 is also blamed for breaking into US Navy computer systems and stealing confidential data, including personal information for 100,000 Naval personnel. Two Chinese nationals have been reportedly charged in the United States over it.

Huawei wasn't named. But U.S. officials have labeled it a major component in China's efforts to control 5G technology.

The case against them adds to a string of indictments in recent months, in which USA prosecutors have accused Chinese operatives of targeting American companies to steal intellectual property and other trade secrets.

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