The United States Justice Department has filed criminal charges against five Chinese Military hackers of using military and intelligence facilities to steal nuclear, steel and renewable energy trade secrets from United States companies. These U.S charges against Chinese officials are unprecedented. John Carlin, the Assistant Attorney General, is quoted as accusing the hackers of “stealing the fruits of our (U.S) labour”.
The United States companies involved are Westinghouse Electric, U.S. subsidiaries of SolarWorld AG, U.S. Steel, Allegheny Technologies and Alcoa. Apparently, the Chinese hackers accused were hacking into United States companies at pivotal times such as the planning of nuclear power stations and renewable energy projects with the purpose of stealing information that will assist the Chinese economy.
The accused individuals will face charges of cyber-espionage on behalf of the Chinese government and these charges are the first of their kind. China has claimed that it’s military is believed to be one of the largest targets of the NSA and US cyber command as well as having to face major threats from hackers. The Chinese Military hackers being charged are Wang Dong, Sun Kailiang, Wen Xinyu, Huang Zhenyu, and Gu Chunhui, who were officers in Unit 61398 of the Third Department of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army.
The charges come after Defense Secretary, Chuck Hagel, confirmed in late March that the Pentagon planned to triple its cyber-security in the next few years to defend against internet attacks that may threaten U.S national security. It is reported that President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping have held two meetings this past year in both Sunnylands, California and at the G-20 summit in St. Petersburg, Russia where they focused on cybersecurity issues. Attorney General Eric Holder said “The range of trade secrets and other sensitive business information stolen in this case is significant and demands an aggressive response.”
Will the Chinese government hand over the 5 hackers for prosecution?
Author: Danielle Bedin