The U.S. Justice Department Charged Members of the Chinese Military with Conducting Cyber-Espionage against American Companies

On Monday, May 19th, The U.S. Justice Department charged members of the Chinese military with conducting cyber-espionage against American companies such as Westinghouse and U.S. Steel to name a few. This marks the first time that the United States has ever brought charges against a foreign country for conducting cyber-espionage against its assets for stealing significant amounts of trade secrets and intellectual property.

Attorney General Eric H. Holder stated in a news conference, “The range of trade secrets and other sensitive business information stolen in this case is significant and demands an aggressive response. Success in the global marketplace should be based solely on a company’s ability to innovate and compete, not on a sponsor government’s ability to spy and steal business secrets.”

Below are a list of the names of the defendants and the companies that were victims to the hack:

“Defendants : Wang Dong, Sun Kailiang, Wen Xinyu, Huang Zhenyu, and Gu Chunhui, who were officers in Unit 61398 of the Third Department of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA). The indictment alleges that Wang, Sun, and Wen, among others known and unknown to the grand jury, hacked or attempted to hack into U.S. entities named in the indictment, while Huang and Gu supported their conspiracy by, among other things, managing infrastructure (e.g., domain accounts) used for hacking.

“Victims : Westinghouse Electric Co. (Westinghouse), U.S. subsidiaries of SolarWorld AG (SolarWorld), United States Steel Corp. (U.S. Steel), Allegheny Technologies Inc. (ATI), the United Steel, Paper and Forestry, Rubber, Manufacturing, Energy, Allied Industrial and Service Workers International Union (USW) and Alcoa Inc.”

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