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5 Chinese Citizens Charged With Mega Hacking Scheme, Indian Government Networks Attack: US | India News

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WASHINGTON: The US Department of Justice has accused five Chinese nationals of hacking more than 100 companies and institutions in the US and abroad, including Indian government networks, and stealing valuable software and business intelligence data.
Deputy United States Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen announced Wednesday that three indictments have been uncovered in the case that collectively accuse five Chinese nationals of hacking and two Malaysian nationals for helping some of those hackers attack victims and sell the data.
Malaysian citizens were arrested on Sunday and Chinese citizens have been declared fugitives, according to a statement from the Justice Department.
Rosen harshly criticized the Chinese government.
“The Justice Department has used every tool available to disrupt illegal computer intrusions and cyberattacks by these Chinese citizens. Unfortunately, the Communist Party of China has chosen a different path: make China safe for cybercriminals whenever they attack computers. out of China and steal useful intellectual property for China, “said the deputy attorney general.
“In approximately 2019, the conspirators compromised the Government of India’s websites as well as the virtual private networks and database servers that support the Government of India. The conspirators used VPS PROVIDER servers to connect to a VPN network open property of the Government of India, “the indictment said.
In the attacks, the conspirators installed the ‘Cobalt Strike’ malware on computers protected by the Indian government, it added.
According to the charges, the computer intrusions affected more than 100 companies in the United States and abroad.
The victims ranged from software development companies, computer hardware, telecommunications, social media and video games. Non-profit organizations, universities, think tanks, foreign governments, pro-democracy politicians and activists in Hong Kong were also targeted.
Security researchers have tracked the intrusions using the tags “APT41”, “Barium”, “Winnti”, “Wicked Panda” and “Wicked Spider”.
These intrusions facilitated the theft of source code, software code signing certificates, customer account data and valuable business information, the researchers said.
These intrusions also facilitated other criminal schemes of the defendants, including ransomware and “crypto-jacking” schemes, the latter referring to the unauthorized use by the group of victims’ computers to mine cryptocurrencies.
Chinese hackers also targeted computers and government networks in Vietnam and the United Kingdom. However, the hackers failed to compromise government computer networks in the UK.
The organized crime conspiracy referred to the three defendants conducting the affairs of Chengdu 404 Network Technology (“Chengdu 404”), a Chinese government company, through a pattern of organized crime activity involving crimes of intrusion. computing affecting more than 100 victimized companies, organizations, and individuals in the United States and around the world, including Australia, Brazil, Chile, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Pakistan, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan , Thailand and Vietnam, the Justice Department said.
“Today’s announcement demonstrates the ramifications that hackers face in China, but is also a reminder to those who continue to deploy malicious cyber tactics that we will use all the tools we have to administer justice,” said FBI Deputy Director David Bowdich .
Noting that the scope and sophistication of the crimes are unprecedented, Acting US Attorney for the District of Columbia Michael R. Sherwin said that some of these criminal actors believed that their association with the People’s Republic of China provided them with a license. Free to hack and steal around the world.
“This scheme also contained a worrisome new cybercriminal component: targeting and using gaming platforms to defraud video game companies and launder illicit profits,” Sherwin said.
Rosen told reporters that, as an additional method of making money, several of the Chinese defendants compromised the networks of video game companies around the world, a multi-billion dollar industry, and defrauded them with the resources of the game.
“Two of the Chinese defendants are accused, with two Malaysian defendants, of selling these resources on the black market, through their illicit website,” he said.
Stating that the Chinese government has the power to help stop crimes like these, Rosen alleged that the Chinese government has made a deliberate decision to allow its citizens to commit hacks and hacks around the world because these actors will help them too.

Times of India

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