According to the indictment, the hackers were working both for the Chinese government’s Ministry of State Security and for their own personal gain. At the moment, there’s no indication that they obtained any COVID-19 research.
“China has now taken its place, alongside Russia, Iran and North Korea, in that shameful club of nations that provide a safe haven for cyber criminals in exchange for those criminals being ‘on call’ to work for the benefit of the state, here to feed the Chinese Communist party’s insatiable hunger for American and other non-Chinese companies’ hard-earned intellectual property, including COVID-19 research,” John C. Demers, assistant attorney general for national security, said in a statement.
In addition to targeting COVID-19 research, the cyberattacks allegedly targeted robotics, aircraft and marine engineering, clean energy engineering, biotechnology, non-governmental organizations and human rights activists. According to the Justice Department, the hackers stole trade secrets, technologies, data and personal information from the computer systems of businesses, individuals and agencies throughout the world.
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