Chinese Cybercriminals Targeted COVID-19 Vaccine Research, Hacked Several Firms, Defence Contractors: US

Chinese Cybercriminals Targeted COVID-19 Vaccine Research, Hacked Several Firms, Defence Contractors: US

Two Chinese nationals have been indicted for looking for to steal COVID-19 vaccine analysis and hacking a whole lot of corporations within the United States and overseas, together with protection contractors, the US Justice Department mentioned Tuesday.

Li Xiaoyu, 34, and Dong Jiazhi, 33, additionally focused human rights activists within the United States, China, and Hong Kong, Assistant Attorney General John Demers mentioned.

The indictment comes amid rising tensions between the worldwide superpowers fueled by the coronavirus pandemic which President Donald Trump blames on China.

Li and Dong, who’re believed to be in China, acted in some cases “for their own personal gain” and in others for the good thing about China’s Ministry of State Security, Demers mentioned at a information convention.

“China has now taken its place, alongside Russia, Iran, and North Korea, in that shameful club of nations that provide a safe haven for cyber criminals,” Demers mentioned.

The Justice Department said Li and Dong, who have been classmates at {an electrical} engineering school in Chengdu, have been engaged in a pc hacking marketing campaign for the previous 10 years.

They have focused corporations within the United States, Australia, Belgium, Germany, Japan, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Spain, South Korea, Sweden, and Britain, it mentioned.

“Targeted industries included, among others, high tech manufacturing; medical device, civil, and industrial engineering; business, educational, and gaming software; solar energy; pharmaceuticals; defense,” it mentioned.

“More lately, the defendants probed for vulnerabilities in pc networks of corporations growing COVID-19 vaccines, testing know-how, and coverings,” it mentioned.

Justice Department officers mentioned that Li and Dong focused biotech corporations in California, Maryland, Massachusetts and elsewhere however didn’t seem to have really compromised any COVID-19 analysis.

Dissidents focused

The Justice Department mentioned additionally they focused “non-governmental organisations, and individual dissidents, clergy, and democratic and human rights activists in the United States and abroad, including Hong Kong and China.”

According to the indictment, Li and Dong provided the Ministry of State Security with passwords for private electronic mail accounts belonging to Chinese dissidents, a Hong Kong neighborhood organiser, the pastor of a Christian church in Xian and a former Tiananmen Square protestor.

Among the fabric allegedly stolen have been emails between a dissident and the Dalai Lama’s workplace.

The pair have been accused of stealing supply code from software program corporations, details about medication below improvement from pharmaceutical corporations and weapons designs and testing knowledge from protection contractors.

Targeted overseas corporations weren’t recognized by identify.

But in keeping with the indictment they included a Dutch electronics agency, a Swedish gaming firm, a Lithuanian gaming firm, a German software program engineering agency, a Belgian engineering software program firm, an Australian protection contractor, a South Korean shipbuilding agency, a Spanish electronics and protection agency, and a British artificial intelligence and most cancers analysis firm.

Li and Dong allegedly stole info from protection contractors relating to navy satellite tv for pc packages, navy wi-fi networks and communications techniques, and microwave and laser techniques.

The indictment was returned by a grand jury within the Eastern District of Washington state on July 7 however was solely unsealed on Tuesday.

Li and Dong have been charged with conspiracy to commit pc fraud, conspiracy to commit theft of commerce secrets and techniques, wire fraud, unauthorized entry of a pc and id theft.

China accused the United States final month of smearing Beijing following allegations that Chinese hackers have been trying to steal coronavirus analysis.

The claims exacerbated tensions between the 2 international locations, which have traded barbs over the origin of the pandemic that has killed greater than 600,000 individuals because it emerged in China late final yr.

“China expresses strong dissatisfaction and firm opposition to such smearing,” overseas ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian mentioned.

“Judging from past records, the US has carried out the largest cybertheft operations worldwide,” Zhao mentioned.

Source link

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply