Chinese Firm Behind Alleged Hacking Was Disbanded This Month

Faith Castro
November 29, 2017

The Justice Department charged three Chinese hackers on Monday with conducting cyber attacks against USA and worldwide financial and technology firms and stealing confidential business information.

According to the indictment unsealed Monday, the three individuals - Wu Yingzhuo, Dong Hao and Xia Lei - are all owners, employees or associates of a Chinese cybersecurity company called Boyusec.

The trio worked at or with a Chinese cybersecurity firm in Guangzhou.

'Defendants Wu, Dong and Xia launched coordinated and targeted cyber intrusions against businesses operating in the United States, including here in the Western District of Pennsylvania, in order to steal confidential business information, ' said Acting U.S. Attorney Song. "Their previous targeting includes industries such as Aerospace, Defense, Energy, Technology, NGOs, etc., that are primarily aligned with China's economic objectives".

USA officials sought China's assistance in halting Boyusec's activities in October but received "no meaningful response" and so chose to make the charges public, a Justice Department spokesman said Monday.

Dana Boente, acting assistant attorney general for national security, said: "Once again, the Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation have demonstrated that hackers around the world who are seeking to steal our companies' most sensitive and valuable information can, and will, be exposed and held accountable". If the attack was successful, attackers would gain long-term, backdoor access to victims' PC, according to the indictment.

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Between December 2015 and March 2016, the three Chinese nationals also allegedly targeted Trimble, a Sunnyvale, California-based company that develops GPS software and global navigation satellite systems. In 2014, they are alleged to have gained access to Siemens where they stole 407GB of data relating to the company's technology along with employee usernames and passwords.

A Siemens representative said the company doesn't comment on "internal security matters" but that it "rigorously" monitors its networks.

Trimble spent millions of dollars over three years developing a GNSS product that uses a low-priced antenna to improve location data for tablets and mobile phones, the indictment says.

"Trimble responded to the incident and concluded that there is no meaningful impact on its business", the company says in a statement.

Moody's Analytics provides products and services for financial analysis and risk management.

At least one of the men named in the indictment was allegedly keeping tabs on this economist's efforts. "Let's see what Beijing says, if anything".

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