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.
Time period : 2006-2014.
The FBI accused the PLA‘s official for hacking and applied total 31 counts charges, for:
- Conspiring to commit computer fraud and abuse
- Accessing (or attempting to access) a protected computer without authorization to obtain information for the purpose of commercial advantage and private financial gain
- Transmitting a program, information, code, or command with the intent to cause damage to protected computers
- Aggravated identity theft
- Economic espionage
- Trade secret theft
“When a foreign nation uses military or intelligence resources and tools against an American executive or corporation to obtain trade secrets or sensitive business information for the benefit of its state-owned companies, we must say, ‘Enough is enough,'” U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder declared at a news conference.
“From at least in or about 2006 up to and including at least in our about April 2014, members of the People’s Liberation Army (“PLA”), the military of the People’s Republic of China (“China”), conspired together and with each other to hack into the computers of commercial entities in the Western District of Pennsylvania and elsewhere in the United States.”
Federal prosecutors suspect the list of targeted companies is very long and includes Alcoa Inc, Allegheny Technologies Inc, United States Steel Corp, Toshiba Corp unit Westinghouse Electric Co, the U.S. subsidiaries of SolarWorld AG, and a steel workers’ union.According US Officials losses to the companies were “significant.”
“The victims had all filed unfair trade claims against their Chinese rivals, helping Washington draw a link between the alleged hacking activity and its impact on international business.” reports Reuters.