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The U.S. Department of Justice said on Thursday it was charging two Chinese hackers associated with China’s Ministry of State Security with global cyber attacks that aimed to steal intellectual property and confidential business information, including from the U.S. Department of Energy, NASA, and the U.S. Navy.
“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 Rod J. Rosenstein.
The two defendants worked for a company in China, Huaying Haitai Science and Technology Development Company, and acted in association with the Chinese Ministry of State Security’s Tianjin State Security Bureau, the U.S. Department of Justice said. The hackers Zhu Hua and Zhang Shilong were members of a hacking group operating in China known within the cyber security community as Advanced Persistent Threat 10 (the APT10 Group). The two hackers carried out global hacking campaigns between at least 2006 and this year, targeting intellectual property and confidential business and technological information at managed service providers (MSPs), more than 45 technology companies in at least a dozen U.S. states, as well as U.S. government agencies.
“Zhu, Zhang, and their co-conspirators successfully obtained unauthorized access to computers belonging to more than 25 other technology-related companies involved in, among other things, industrial factory automation, radar technology, oil exploration, information technology services, pharmaceutical manufacturing, and computer processor technology, as well as the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory,” the indictment reads.
“Through the Technology Theft Campaign, the APT10 Group stole hundreds of gigabytes of sensitive data and targeted the computers of victim companies involved in aviation, space and satellite technology, manufacturing technology, pharmaceutical technology, oil and gas exploration and production technology, communications technology, computer processor technology, and maritime technology,” according to the Department of Justice.
The APT10 Group also compromised computers to steal sensitive data belonging to the Navy, including personal information of more than 100,000 Navy personnel.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.