China rejects economic espionage accusations

by Garry Watts December 23, 2018, 7:49
China rejects economic espionage accusations

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said China had repeatedly broken President Xi Jinping's 2015 pledge to halt cyberattacks on U.S. companies and commercial infrastructure.

Court papers say they hacked computer service providers to gain access to the networks of businesses and governments in order to steal intellectual property and business data. From there, you should have gained access to the companies from such diverse industries as telecommunications, energy, Finance, and biotechnology. The attacks were probably made in the period between 2006 and 2018.

NASA and the US Navy were among those allegedly targeted in a programme the US Justice Department said also hit a major bank, telecom companies and healthcare providers in 12 countries.

"It is unacceptable that we continue to uncover cybercrime committed by China against America and other nations", Rosenstein told reporters.

"The allegation itself will give rise to some suspicion, at least, among the worldwide public, that these hacking activities are actually supported by the Chinese state", he said. "China will find it hard to pretend that it is not responsible for these actions".

In London, the Foreign Office likewise accused China of not living up to their bilateral agreement against hacking driven by commercial and economic motives.

"These activities must stop".

A DoJ official in October described those charges as part of a United States domestic effort to monitor compliance with a 2015 China's promise not to steal trade secrets to gain a competitive commercial advantage. "Exposing these actions through the criminal justice system is a valuable tool", Rosenstein said.

The hackers, identified as members of the group APT10, or "Stone Panda", are not in custody.

Two men belonging to a hacking group affiliated with China's main intelligence service, have been charged by U.S. authorities.

Zhu Hua and Zhang Shi Long were allegedly members of a hacking group that targeted firms managing IT infrastructure of businesses and governments around the world. China denied the cyber-espionage charges
US charges Chinese hackers with 'massive theft' from NASA, Navy and tech sector

Those cases involved both hacking and recruiting insiders to steal data and IT system passwords.

"We strongly urge China to abide by its commitment to act responsibly in cyberspace and reiterate that the United States will take appropriate measures to defend our interests", they said. Such a move is a serious violation of the basic norms of global relations and will seriously damage Sino-US cooperation.

USA officials testified before Congress last week that Beijing's continued hacking has made a mockery of that 2015 commitment by President Xi Jinping, following a first-of-its-kind indictment that accused Chinese hackers of stealing corporate data from brand-name United States companies.

In a statement on Friday, the Chinese foreign ministry said it resolutely opposed the allegations, adding that China had never participated in or supported any stealing of commercial secrets.

The statement said that Australia called "on all countries - including China - to uphold commitments to refrain from cyber-enabled theft of intellectual property, trade secrets and confidential business information with the intent of obtaining a competitive advantage".

Some countries, including the United Kingdom, have also made slanderous remarks against China on the issue of cyber security.

In recent months, the Justice Department has filed separate cases against several Chinese intelligence officials and hackers.

Former President Barack Obama had secured an agreement from China not to engage in economic espionage (which the United States has carefully distinguished from "legitimate" espionage against security targets).

In that way he made clear the political background of the process opened against the executive, to whom Washington asks in extradition to judge her for deceiving financial institutions to violate the sanctions imposed against Iran.

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