Are these charges a coincidence – or a distraction, appearing at just the time Putin is in China signing an important agreement. . . ~J
Published time: May 19, 2014 13:57
Edited time: May 19, 2014 15:01
A grand jury in the United States has indicted five members of the Chinese military with hacking into American computer networks and engaging in cyber espionage on behalf of a foreign government.
For the first time ever the US government has filed criminal charges against Chinese military and government officials, accusing them of hacking and stealing US trade secrets.
The individuals — all allegedly members of an elite cyber squad within the People’s Liberation Army, US federal prosecutors said early Monday — are accused of hacking six American entities and stealing valuable trade secrets and other sensitive business information on behalf of China.
Among those targeted, the Justice Department said, were United States Steel Corp., nuclear technology developer Westinghouse and a large integrated specialties metal company headquarter in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, as well as the computer system of a major steelworkers union.
According to US officials, the hackers are all members of the PLA’s prestigious but highly secretive Unit 61398, which a well touted investigation conducted by cybersecurity firm Mandiant in 2013 revealed to be responsible for targeting dozens of American corporations and entities.
Earlier this year secret documents revealed by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden suggested that the National Security Agency targeted not only the government of China but also telecom giants, banks and top government officials. Specifically the US intelligence agency targeted the world’s second largest network equipment supplier Huawei Technologies.
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