On Monday (July 19), the US Department of Justice announced that four Chinese nationals were active hackers around the world between 2011 and 2018; Target is intellectual property and trade secrets from dozens of companies, universities and government agencies in the US and many other countries to serve the interests of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and business world Chinese state. The indictment identifies the subjects who set up a front company to cover up the CCP’s role in these thefts.
On July 19, the US Department of Justice announced the indictment against four Chinese people who engaged in hacking activities to support the CCP. Photo of 4 Chinese citizens being prosecuted (Screenshot of the US Department of Justice website).
The Justice Department’s announcement comes at a time when the United States and many other countries accuse the CCP’s security agency of carrying out global hacking activities. According to the US Department of Justice, the focus of the hacking activity is on gathering particularly important information, including research and development, and assisting Chinese [state-owned] companies.
The US Department of Justice said in a press release released on July 19 accusing four Chinese subjects of participating in global computer intrusions, with the goal of “intellectual property rights and secrets”. business secrets, and even research into infectious diseases.”
According to the press release, four Chinese nationals are accused of carrying out these activities between 2011 and 2018. They broke into the computer systems of dozens of companies, universities and organizations. government offices in the United States and abroad. The indictment states that these theft plots are mainly for obtaining information that can bring great economic benefits to Chinese companies and commercial bodies, some of which may allow Chinese companies and trade organizations avoid “a lengthy and resource-intensive R&D process”.
The indictment states that the three defendants are employees of the State Security Bureau (HSSD) of Hainan province under the Ministry of State Security (MSS) of the CCP.
The US Department of Justice identified the defendants and their accomplices as the Hainan National Security Bureau who attempted to conceal the CCP government’s role in this type of theft by setting up a front company “Hainan Xiandun Technology Development Co., Ltd”.
The indictment alleges that the defendants including Ding Xiaoyang, Cheng Qingmin and Zhu Yunmin are employees of the Hainan National Security Department; they are linguists and computer hackers in charge of coordinating, promoting and managing computer hackers at Hainan Xiandun Company and other front companies of the CCP Ministry of State Security, to carry out hacking attacks that benefit CCP-backed organizations.
The indictment alleges Wu Shurong was a computer hacker who, in his jobs at Hainan Xiandun Company, was responsible for creating malware that infiltrated the computer systems of governments, companies and universities. abroad, and manage other hackers of Hainan Xiandun Company.
The US Department of Justice identified these hackers as having targeted entities in the US, Austria, Cambodia, Canada, Germany, Indonesia, Malaysia, Norway, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. . Target industries include aviation, defense, education, government, healthcare, biopharmaceuticals and marine affairs. Stolen business secrets and confidential business information include sensitive technologies used in submersibles and unmanned vehicles, special chemical formulations, commercial aircraft services, proprietary gene sequence data and technology, and foreign information.
The U.S. Department of Justice determined that the CCP hopes to obtain this foreign information to assist in helping CCP state-owned enterprises obtain contracts in target countries (for example, development projects). large-scale high-speed railway). For research institutions and universities, the hacker’s attack targets research into infectious diseases related to Ebola, MERS, HIV/AIDS, Marburg virus, and malaria.
The U.S. Department of Justice also identified these alleged CCP National Security Department employees as collaborating with staff members and professors from various universities in Hainan and other regions of China to carry out the exercise. reveal the goals of the conspiracy. These Universities not only assist the Department of National Security in identifying and recruiting hackers and linguists to infiltrate and steal the computer networks of targeted entities, including their partners. They are at various foreign universities, and also identified Hainan University employees who help support and manage the front company Xiandun Hainan in activities such as managing salaries, benefits, and mailing addresses. .
The defendants were all charged with one count of conspiracy to commit computer fraud, which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison, and another count of conspiracy to commit economic espionage, which carries a maximum sentence of 15 years. The maximum sentence that can be determined for this case will be set by the US Congress, and the current level is for reference only, because the defendant’s sentence will be sentenced by the appointed judge.