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United States charges 'China government hackers'

United States charges 'China government hackers'

Two hackers associated with China's chief security service have been charged with stealing troves of confidential digital information from dozens of USA companies, NASA and the Navy, the Justice Department announced Thursday in its latest indictment aimed at alleged Chinese economic and military espionage.

The pair worked for Huaying Haitai Science and Technology Development Company in Tianjin and "acted in association with the Chinese Ministry of State Security's Tianjin State Security Bureau".

USA prosecutors charged two Chinese nationals, Zhu Hua and Zhang Shilong, and alleged both were linked to China's Ministry of State Security intelligence agency.

US and British authorities on Thursday also condemned China for violating 2015 agreements to curb cyber espionage for business purposes, slamming Chinese efforts to steal other countries' trade secrets and technologies and to compromise government computers.

"We have seen Chinese hackers target aviation, space and satellite, manufacturing, pharmaceutical, oil and gas, communications, computer processor and maritime technology companies in the United States", he said.

APT10 is alleged to have compromised 40 computers to steal personally identifiable information on more than 100,000 Navy personnel in a breach discovered in 2016.

However, the statement said that since at least 2014 Chinese hackers linked to their country's Ministry of State Security "have hacked multiple U.S. and global managed service and cloud providers".

The hackers 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.

"The U.S.is a world superpower, and it's quite arrogant and selfish", Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said during a press briefing Friday.

China has called the accusations "slanderous" and "fabricate rumours". The centre said it is also working with Australian MSPs on a new partner program focused on security.

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"We want China to cease illegal cyber activities and honor its commitment to the worldwide community, but the evidence suggests that China may not intend to live up to its promises", the statement said.

An indictment was unsealed Thursday against Zhu Hua and Zhang Shillong. They are not in custody and the U.S. does not have an extradition treaty with China.

More than 90 percent of cases alleging economic espionage involved China as did more than two-thirds of trade secret theft prosecutions, according to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

Ms Meng is accused by the United States of misleading multinational banks about Iran-linked transactions, putting the banks at risk of violating USA sanctions.

The US and United Kingdom have accused China of violating an agreement relating to commercial espionage. Trump administration officials have increasingly complained of what they describe as an alarming surge in Chinese digital attacks on US companies and government agencies.

The indictments also highlight what United States intelligence officials have been saying all along: China hasn't even tried to honor its 2015 agreement to stop pilfering U.S. companies.

For example, he offered to mediate in Meng Wanzhou's case, technological giant Huawei's financial director arrested in Canada, if it would serve to close a trade pact with China.

It said the group nearly certainly continues to target a range of global companies, seeking to gain access to commercial secrets.

A DoJ official in October described those charges as part of a U.S. domestic effort to monitor compliance with a 2015 China's promise not to steal trade secrets to gain a competitive commercial advantage.

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