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American prosecutors have accused two men, linked to the Chinese government, of conspiring to hack dozens of cloud giants, aerospace and defense companies, chip designers, and other organizations globally, to swipe blueprints and other secrets.
The two men, Zhu Hua (朱华) – whose online identities are said to include Afwar, CVNX, Alayos, and Godkiller – and Zhang Shilong (张士龙) – whose aliases are said to include Baobeilong, Zhang Jianguo, and Atreexp – are alleged to be part of a hacker gang referred to as APT10, among other names. They're charged with conspiracy to commit computer intrusions, wire fraud, and aggravated identity theft.
APT - Advanced - Persistent - Threat - Term
APT stands for Advanced Persistent Threat, a trendy term for malware and exploit code that requires some skill to create. As is usual in the mildly cartoonish world of cybersecurity, APT10 has been referred to as Stone Panda, MenuPass and Red Apollo.
"This case is significant because the defendants are accused of targeting and compromising managed service providers, or MSPs," said Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein in a statement today. "MSPs are firms that other companies trust to store, process, and protect commercial data, including intellectual property and other confidential business information. When hackers gain access to MSPs, they can steal sensitive business information that gives competitors an unfair advantage."
Rosenstein - Cent - DoJ - Cases - Espionage
According to Rosenstein, over 90 per cent of DoJ cases alleging economic espionage over the past seven years involve China.
'Trade secrets and economies'
Government - US - Charges - Campaign - Cyber
The UK government publicly echoed the US charges. "This campaign is one of the most significant and widespread cyber intrusions against the UK and allies uncovered to date, targeting trade secrets and economies around the world," said UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt.
The UK's Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), through its public-facing National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) offshoot, said APT10 had “targeted healthcare, defense, aerospace, government, heavy industry/mining, Managed Service Providers (MSPs)...
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