The US Department of Justice has accused two Chinese citizens of collaborating with Chinese intelligence services to hack the computers of a dozen and a half American companies.
The indictment says that the accused Li Xiao-Yu and Dong Jia-Zhi stole trade secrets worth hundreds of millions of dollars from several companies, research centers, and military-industrial corporations. They also tried to hack firms that are engaged in research to combat the coronavirus, the indictment says.
Assistant Attorney General for national security John Demers said that the hackers ‘ activities lasted about ten years and affected some countries around the world. “No country is immune from this,” Demers said at a subsequent press conference.
According to him, the affected companies were engaged in new materials, pharmaceuticals, biotechnologies, defense, robot manufacturing, solar energy, and other developments. Also, he said, Li Xiao-Yu and Dong Jia-Zhi tried to hack the computers of NGOs, clerics, and activists in the United States, mainland China, and Hong Kong.
According to Demer, the hackers worked “partly for their profit, but were ready to come to the aid of the state.” He accused China of harboring cybercriminals.
The US has, in the past accused China of hacking attempts to steal the secrets of developing coronavirus vaccines. China denies these charges.