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Saturday, March 6th, 2021

Hackers charged in connection with alleged computer intrusion campaign

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Federal authorities recently said two members of a Chinese hacking group have been charged with conspiracy to commit computer intrusions, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, and aggravated identity theft.

The charges against Zhu Hua and Zhang Shilong were announced this week by Rod J. Rosenstein, deputy attorney general of the United States; Geoffrey S. Berman, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York; Christopher A. Wray, the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; Dermot F. O’Reilly, director of the Defense Criminal Investigative Service of the U.S. Department of Defense; and John C. Demers, the assistant attorney general for National Security.

Law enforcement officials said Zhu and Zhang were members of a China-based hacking group known within the cybersecurity community as Advanced Persistent Threat 10 (APT10). The APT10 Group targeted a diverse array of commercial activity, industries, and technologies, including, among others, aviation, satellite, and maritime technology, industrial factory automation, automotive supplies, laboratory instruments, banking and finance telecommunications, and consumer electronics.

“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,” Rosenstein said. “This is outright cheating and theft, and it gives China an unfair advantage at the expense of law-abiding businesses and countries that follow the international rules in return for the privilege of participating in the global economic system.”

Wray said the alleged conduct hurts American businesses, jobs, and consumers.

“Healthy competition is good for the global economy, but criminal conduct is not,” Wray said. “No country should be able to flout the rule of law – so we’re going to keep calling out this behavior for what it is: illegal, unethical and unfair.”