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.

Please register to continue.

Already registered? Log in.

Once you register, you'll receive:

  • News analysis

    The context and insight you need to stay abreast of the most important developments in cybersecurity. CISO and practitioner perspectives; strategy and tactics; solutions and innovation; policy and regulation.

  • Archives

    Unlimited access to nearly 20 years of SC Media industry analysis and news-you-can-use.

  • Daily Newswire

    SC Media’s essential morning briefing for cybersecurity professionals.

  • Learning Express

    One-click access to our extensive program of virtual events, with convenient calendar reminders and ability to earn CISSP credits.