WASHINGTON — According to the reports from the US Department of Justice, there have been accusations made on two Chinese nationals for stealing trade secrets as well as hacking various computers of organizations working to create a vaccine for COVID 19.
The two Chinese nationals, Li Xiaoyu aged 34, and Dong Jiazhi aged 33 has been said to be working on behalf of the Chinese government to make the mission successful and steal the details related to the Coronavirus vaccine.
As per the 11-count indictment, these two accused were involved in conducting a global hacking campaign and their experience goes beyond a decade. Apart from the US, these accused were able to get to the terabytes of data from various other countries too. The nations include Belgium, Australia, Lithuania, Sweden, the Netherlands, Germany, Japan, Spain, South Korea, as well as the United Kingdom.
The Department of Justice has made it clear that these two Chinese nationals were targeting industries related with highly advanced and technical manufacturing processes, solar energy engineering, gaming software, pharmaceuticals along with defense.
In total there were 13 businesses from the USA which were targeted by these accused. Few of those names include California technology and defense company, the Department of Energy’s Hanford site in Washington, a Massachusetts software firm, Maryland technology, and manufacturing company, a Virginia defense contractor, a Texas engineering firm, a California gaming software company as well as many U.S. drug-making companies.
The DOJ said in a statement, “In at least one instance, the hackers sought to extort cryptocurrency from a victim entity, by threatening to release the victim’s stolen source code on the Internet. More recently, the defendants probed for vulnerabilities in computer networks of companies developing Covid-19 vaccines, testing technology, and treatments.”
There were various comments made from the US justice department as well.
John Demers who is the assistant attorney general for national security exclaimed, “China has now taken its place, alongside Russia, Iran, and North Korea, in that shameful club of nations that provide a safe haven for cybercriminals in exchange for those criminals being ‘on-call’ to work for the benefit of the state, here to feed the Chinese Communist party’s insatiable hunger for American and other non-Chinese companies’ hard-earned intellectual property, including Covid-19 research.”
The accused have been charged for one count for each conspiracy for computer fraud, for stealing trade secrets, for committing wire fraud, for unauthorized access of a computer as well as the seven counts for identity theft.
However, by now, the Chinese Embassy in the USA has not commented yet.