US charges 5 Chinese nationals for mega hack across countries including India
The Chinese hackers used a supply chain attack that enabled them to break into software companies and embed malicious code in their products
A group of five Chinese nationals, associated with China’s main intelligence service, have been charged with hacking over 100 organizations and companies across the world, including Indian government networks. The three indictments, presented by the US government, showed the scope and sophistication of China’s attempts to unlawfully advance its economy and technology.
US Deputy Attorney General Jeffery A Rosen, according to a report by Money Control, revealed that the hackers also worked with two Malaysian nationals to steal and launder money. He criticized the Chinese government for allowing its citizens to commit computer intrusions and attacks around the world.
Researchers revealed that the intrusions facilitated the theft of source code, software code signing certificates, customer account data, and valuable business information. The intrusions also facilitated the defendants’ other criminal schemes, including ransomware and crypto-jacking schemes, with the latter referring to the group’s unauthorized use of victim computers to mine cryptocurrency.
The report says that the group of hackers also targeted government computers and networks of Vietnam and the United Kingdom. The indictments said they targeted social media and other technology companies, universities, government agencies and non-profits. The US Justice Department pointed out that the Chinese hackers used a supply chain attack that enabled them to break into software companies and embed malicious code in their products. When the products were installed in other systems, the hackers used the code to break in.
The report further states that the racketeering conspiracy pertained to the three defendants’ conducting the affairs of Chengdu 404 Network Technology, which is a Chinese government company. The Justice Department said it impacted over 100 companies and organizations and individuals in the US, Australia, Brazil, Chile, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Pakistan, Singapore, Taiwan, South Korea, Thailand and Vietnam.
According to the report, FBI Deputy Director David Bowdich said it shows the ramifications faced by hackers in China. He said its also a reminder to those who continue to deploy malicious cyber tactics that the FBI will utilize every tool it has to administer justice.