Two Chinese men have been indicted by the US justice department on charges of them hacking into the computer systems and networks of companies and government agencies in Western countries.
It is being alleged that the duo are a part of a hacking group which is known as Advanced Persistent Threat 10 and which is related to the main intelligence service of China.
The two Chinese have however not been arrested.
China has been accused by the US and UK of breach of an agreement with respect to commercial espionage.
According to the US court filing, in association with the Chinese Ministry of State Security, the two indicted men, Zhu Hua and Zhang Shilong functioned for a company called Huaying Haitai.
With the aim of decamping with intellectual property and confidential business and technological information, these two Chinese men had extensively hacked into computer systems from at least 2006 until 2018, said the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The agency also said that the affected business include at least 45 commercial and defence technology firms companies situated in at least 12 US states
It also include managed service providers (MSPs) and their clients who are both government and commercial companies in at least 12 countries which includes the UK, Brazil, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, India, Japan, Sweden, Switzerland, and the UAE, and the US as well. Computers of some US government agencies were also hacked.
Personal information of more than 100,000 personnel of the US Navy had also been stolen by the two Chinese after they had managed ot hack in to the Navy’s computer system, the FBI said.
The two indicted Chinese men were at present “beyond US jurisdiction”, said FBI director Christopher Wray.
A 2015 agreement in which China promised not to conduct or foster any form of commercial cyber spying had been violated by Beijing, said US Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein while announcing the unsealing of the indictments.
“We want China to cease its illegal cyber activities,” said US Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.
The move by his department was done in a coordinated manner along with US allies in Europe and Asia with the aim of rebuffing “China’s economic aggression”, Rosenstein said.
“China’s economic aggression,” he added.
Holding the Chinese government to be responsible of conducting a worldwide campaign for conducting targeted espionage of commercial secrets, the UK government said that it was joining hand with its allies in this regards.
“This campaign is one of the most significant and widespread cyber intrusions against the UK and allies uncovered to date, targeting trade secrets and economies around the world. These activities must stop. They go against the commitments made to the UK in 2015, and, as part of the G20, not to conduct or support cyber-enabled theft of intellectual property or trade secrets,” said UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt.
China was also held responsible for the global hacking campaign by Australia and New Zealand as the countries said that they were also supporting their “like-minded partners” in this issue.
(Adapted from BBC.com)