US, UK allege China-backed global hacking scheme

Dec 23, 2018, 13:53
US, UK allege China-backed global hacking scheme

A poster displayed during a news conference at the Department of Justice in Washington, on December 20, 2018, shows two Chinese citizens suspected to be with the group APT 10 carrying out an extensive hacking campaign to steal data from US companies.

The U.S. justice Department had accused the hacker group APT10 and the Chinese Ministry of state security on Thursday in at least twelve countries - including Germany - mass data from government agencies and companies stole.

Wray pointed out that the cyber espionage threat from China is the most pervasive among them all.

The action also comes just weeks after the United States and China agreed to talks aimed at resolving an ongoing trade dispute that threatens global economic growth.

"This is an audacious global campaign run by a group that worked on behalf of the Ministry of State Security for the Chinese government".

Western governments, including United States allies Britain and Australia, have accused Beijing of cyber-attacks.

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"With Washington favouring a confrontational approach aimed at maintaining its hegemony rather than a cooperative one for the common good, Beijing will have to be prepared to stand its ground and respond as necessary to safeguard its core interests". They are accused of stealing intellectual property and other data from dozens of companies in various countries.

Foreign Affairs Minister Marise Payne and Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton said in a joint statement this morning that APT10's "sustained cyber intrusions" were significant and a "serious concern".

The defendants were charged with spying on some of the world's largest companies by hacking into technology firms to which they outsource email, storage and other computing tasks, starting in 2014.

Britain, Australia and New Zealand have joined the United States in condemning China over what they called an worldwide campaign of cyber-enabled commercial intellectual property theft, signaling growing global coordination against the practice.

Beginning in 2006, the group allegedly engaged in a "technology theft" campaign, targeting the networks of commercial and defence technology companies and USA government agencies.

"China firmly opposes it and has lodged solemn representations with the USA side, she said".

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Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said the move was being made to rebuff "China's economic aggression".

From at least 2006 to 2018, the APT10 Group "conducted extensive campaigns of intrusions into computer systems around the world", the US Justice Department 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 worldwide rules in return for the privilege of participating in the global economic system", Rosenstein said.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said China had repeatedly broken President Xi Jinping's 2015 pledge to halt cyberattacks on United States companies and commercial infrastructure.

The two men are Zhu Hua, known online as Afwar, CVNX, Alayos and Godkiller, and Zhang Shilong, also known as Baobeilong, Zhang Jianguo and Atreexp.

China protested Friday to the U.S. representations in Beijing over the Department of Justice's accusations against two nationals for allegedly hacking into intellectual property files and state and business secrets.

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Mr MacGibbon, head of the Australian Cyber Security Centre, said yesterday "tens of thousands" of Australian companies were at risk from security breaches at the service providers, although he said it was unclear how many would have lost data.