US announces charges against Chinese, Malaysians involved in worldwide hacking racket

WION Web Team Washington Sep 16, 2020, 10.27 PM(IST)

Image for representation. Photograph:( Reuters )

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The five Chinese hackers were charged with hacking over a hundred companies in the United States and abroad including foreign governments and pro-democracy activists in Hong Kong.

The US government on Wednesday announced charges over global hacking against five Chinese nationals and two Malaysians.

"First and foremost is that we have unsealed three indictments that collectively charge five Chinese nationals with computer hacking and charge two Malaysian nationals for helping some of those hackers target victims and sell the fruits of their hacking," US deputy attorney general, Jeffrey Rosen, said.

The five Chinese hackers were charged with hacking over a hundred companies in the United States and abroad including foreign governments and pro-democracy activists in Hong Kong.

"First, as the core of Apt 41's computer hacking, the Chinese defendants targeted well over 100 victims worldwide in a variety of industries and sectors that are sadly part of the standard target list for Chinese hackers," Rosen said.

The US Justice Department said that two Malaysian businessmen Ling Yang Ching and Wong Ong Hua were charged with conspiring with two of the Chinese hackers to profit from computer hacking in various countries including the United States, Japan, Singapore, South Korea and France.

"Some of these criminal actors believed their association with the PRC provided them free license to hack and steal across the globe," federal prosecutor Michael Sherwin said in a statement.

The whereabouts of the five Chinese remain unknown, however, the two Malaysians were arrested in Malaysia on Monday and the United States is seeking their extradition.