Two Chinese hackers working with the Ministry of State Security, and charged by the Justice Department on Tuesday, allegedly ran a more-than-decade-long campaign hacking into the systems of hundreds of companies, governments, NGOs, dissidents, human rights activists and even clergy, nicking intellectual property and proprietary business research and more recently targeting companies developing COVID-19 vaccines, testing and treatments.
The duo, who the DOJ says operated sometimes for their own gain and other times on behalf of the MSS or other Chinese government entities, were indicted on 11 counts by a federal grand jury in Spokane, Wash.
According to the Justice Department, Li Xiaoyu, 34, and Dong Jiazhi, 33, targeted high-tech manufacturing; medical devices, civil and industrial engineering; business, educational, and gaming software; solar energy; pharmaceuticals; and the defense industry in countries including the U.S., Australia, Belgium, Germany, Japan, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Spain, South Korea, Sweden and the U.K. They took advantage of the pandemic, much like Russian operatives did, by plying the systems of companies developing COVID-19 vaccines and treatments, the DOJ states.
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