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Justice Department indicts two Chinese nationals over global hacking campaign

23 December 2018

The Chinese Foreign Ministry yesterday said the accusations were "slanderous".

"It is unacceptable that we continue to uncover cybercrime committed by China against other nations", he said. The defendants worked for a company in China called Huaying Haitai Science and Technology Development Company, or Huaying Haitai, they said.

According to news reports, Chinese ministry said the United States should withdraw the charges against the two Chinese men, adding, China had never tried to participate in such events or supported any stealing of personal information and data of a commercial secrets, and lodged a "stern representations" with Washington.

APT10 was identified as hacking IT suppliers in order to obtain military and intelligence information.

Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said the attacks were in direct breach of assurances given by the Beijing government to the United Kingdom in 2015 as well as commitments made at the G20.

The Canadian media had reported that the us authorities had indicted two Chinese nationals on the grounds of "cyber stealing", Xinhua news agency reported.

The list of alleged victims includes a wide range of commercial and defence technology companies and several government entities, including NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory as well as the U.S. Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

In October, the US government charged Chinese intelligence officers with conspiring with hackers and company insiders to break into private companies' computer systems and steal information on a turbo fan engine used in commercial jetliners.

U.S. prosecutors announced that they were charging two alleged hackers, Zhu Hua and Zhang Shilong, linked to a group known as APT10, allegedly part of the Chinese Ministry of State Security.

"We want them to immediately stop smothering us".

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"We may never know how many companies were impacted", said the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to comment on the attacks.

"Our message to governments prepared to enable these activities is clear: together with our allies, we will expose your actions and take other necessary steps to ensure the rule of law is upheld", Hunt said.

Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying asked the USA to withdraw the accusations "as soon as possible" and not to prosecute suspected Chinese hackers, Zhu Hua and Zhang Shilong, who have been linked to China's Ministry of State Security, Efe news reported.

Relations between Washington and Beijing are already frayed over trade, hacking and geopolitical issues.

While it was not mentioned specifically, the statement appeared to be referring to allegations made overnight by the US Department of Justice, which said two Chinese men had been charged with numerous hacks dating back to 2006.

Members of the Five Eyes alliance - the US, Britain, Australia, New Zealand and Canada - are reported to have increased cooperation on exchanging classified information about China. The charges allege stealing of confidential data from United States government agencies and businesses around the world.

Chinese intelligence officials and hackers.

Last week, Bill Priestap, head of the FBI's counterintelligence division, told Congress that China's cyber-attacks are part of a broad campaign to demote the United States from its leadership position in the world.

Mr. Li said that if Mr. Zhu and Mr. Zhang travel to other countries that have signed treaties with the United States, they could be detained for possible extradition, as was the case with Chinese tech executive Meng Wanzhou's recent arrest in Canada.

Justice Department indicts two Chinese nationals over global hacking campaign