U.S. Charges Three Chinese Hackers for Hacking Three Corporations for Commercial Advantage

Washington, D.C.–Wu Yingzhuo, Dong Hao and Xia Lei, all of whom are Chinese nationals and residents of China, were indicted today by a grand jury for computer hacking, theft of trade secrets, conspiracy and identity theft directed at U.S. and foreign employees and computers of three corporate victims in the financial, engineering and technology industries between 2011 and May 2017.  The three Chinese hackers work for the purported China-based Internet security firm Guangzhou Bo Yu Information Technology Company Limited (a/k/a “Boyusec”).

The three victims named in the indictment are Moody’s Analytics, Siemens AG (“Siemens”) and Trimble, Inc. (“Trimble”).

The indictment alleges that the defendants conspired to hack into private corporate entities in order to maintain unauthorized access to, and steal sensitive internal documents and communications from, those entities’ computers.  For one victim, information that the defendants targeted and stole between December 2015 and March 2016 contained trade secrets.

“Once again, the Justice Department and the FBI 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,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Boente.  “The Justice Department is committed to pursuing the arrest and prosecution of these hackers, no matter how long it takes, and we have a long memory.”

Defendants Wu, Dong, Xia, and others known and unknown to the grand jury (collectively, “the co-conspirators”) coordinated computer intrusions against businesses and entities, operating in the United States and elsewhere. To accomplish their intrusions, the co-conspirators would, for example, send spearphishing e-mails to employees of the targeted entities, which included malicious attachments or links to malware.  If a recipient opened the attachment or clicked on the link, such action would facilitate unauthorized, persistent access to the recipient’s computer.  With such access, the co-conspirators would typically install other tools on victim computers, including malware the co-conspirators referred to as “ups” and “exeproxy.”  In many instances, the co-conspirators sought to conceal their activities, location and Boyusec affiliation by using aliases in registering online accounts, intermediary computer servers known as “hop points” and valid credentials stolen from victim systems.

The primary goal of the co-conspirators’ unauthorized access to victim computers was to search for, identify, copy, package, and steal data from those computers, including confidential business and commercial information, work product, and sensitive victim employee information, such as usernames and passwords that could be used to extend unauthorized access within the victim systems.  For the three victim entities listed in the Indictment, such information included hundreds of gigabytes of data regarding the housing finance, energy, technology, transportation, construction, land survey, and agricultural sectors.

All defendants were charged with conspiring to commit computer fraud and abuse, conspiring to commit trade secret theft, wire fraud, and aggravated identity theft.

NO COMMENTS

LEAVE A REPLY