The US Justice Department indicted two Chinese nationals for hacking numerous companies in the US and other countries. The suspects also targeted human rights activists in certain nations such as the US, China, and Hong Kong.
The suspects, Li Xiaoyu, and Dong Jiazhi, both Chinese nationals are believed to have acted for their benefit, and in some cases to aid China’s State Security, according to the US Justice Department.
The department added that Li and Dong both went to the same engineering college in Chengdu and were part of numerous hacking campaigns for over ten years.
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Their targeted industries include medical device, high tech manufacturing, industrial engineering, software for business, education and gaming, pharmaceuticals, and solar energy, among many others.
The Justice Department further added that these two are part of the hacking of computer networks of companies developing the COVID-19 vaccine and treatment.
Aside from COVID-19 vaccines, their targets also include non-government organizations who are vocal against human rights violations. The Justice Department said that Li and Dong provided China’s Ministry of State Security passwords for personal email accounts of a Pro-Hong Kong organizer, a Christian pastor, a former Tiananmen Square protester, and some Chinese dissidents.
The state department did not name the foreign companies targeted by the cyberattacks.