How to protect yourself against a cyberattack
The Justice Department revealed Wednesday previously sealed indictments of five Chinese hackers and two Malaysian businessmen accused of intrusions that hit more than 100 companies in the U.S. and abroad.
The attacks “facilitated the theft of source code, software code signing certificates, customer account data, and valuable business information,” the department said in a statement.
Targets of the attacks included software development companies, computer hardware manufacturers, telecommunications providers, social media companies and video game companies, the department said. It said the first of the previously undisclosed grand jury indictments came in August 2019 and the others this August.
Department officials credited Malaysian authorities for arresting the two businessmen who it said conspired to profit from attacks on the video game industry. But Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen said “the Chinese Communist Party has chosen a different path of making China safe for cybercriminals so long as they attack computers outside China and steal intellectual property helpful to China.”
The department said that Microsoft Corp. helped develop measures to block the intrusions.
The announcement comes as President Donald Trump is targeting China in his re-election campaign, blaming the country for failing to prevent the international spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Trump administration shuttered the Chinese consulate in Houston in July after years of frustration about what it says were criminal and covert activity directed by Beijing to steal trade secrets and carry out malign influence operations across the U.S.
Also in July, the Justice Department accused two Chinese hackers of working for Beijing to steal, or try to steal, terabytes of data, including coronavirus research, from Western companies in 11 nations.
Last week, Microsoft issued a sharp warning about election-related hacking and interference by groups linked to Russia, China and Iran.
The report said the Russians are launching campaigns “presumably to aid in intelligence gathering or disruption operations,” while China “has attempted to gain intelligence on organizations associated with the upcoming U.S. presidential election.”