China accuses U.S. of 'fabricating facts'

In New Zealand, the Government Communications Security Bureau said that alongside national security partners, it had established links between the Chinese Ministry of State Security and a global campaign of cyber-enabled commercial intellectual property theft, which it became aware of a year ago.

The U.S. justice Department had accused the hacker group APT10 and the Chinese Ministry of state security on Thursday in at least twelve countries - including Germany - mass data from government agencies and companies stole.

The indictment said the pair worked for Huaying Haitai Science and Technology Development Co, a company described by an online Chinese business directory as being involved in the development of e-commerce websites and network operations.

USA prosecutors announced that they were charging two alleged hackers, Zhu Hua and Zhang Shilong, linked to a group known as APT10, allegedly part of the Chinese Ministry of State Security.

"Through their involvement with the APT10 Group, from at least in or about 2006 up to and including in or about 2018, Zhu and Zhang conducted global campaigns of computer intrusions targeting, among other data, intellectual property and confidential business and technological information", the Justice Department said in a statement today.

Prosecutors charged Zhu Hua and Zhang Shilong in hacking attacks against the U.S. Navy, the space agency NASA and the Energy Department and dozens of companies. Prosecutors say they also obtained the names, social security numbers and other personal information of more than 100,000 Navy personnel.

The official statements from the five countries are on the supposed involvement of the Chinese Ministry of State Security (MSS) in supporting the activity of APT10, CNET's sister site ZDNet reported on Friday.

Mr Rosenstein said the threats posed by the hacking operation, which dates back to 2006, have never been more severe or more pervasive and are part of China's ultimate goal to replace the U.S. as the world's leading superpower.

China has called the accusations "slanderous" and "fabricate rumours".

"We want China to cease its illegal cyber activities and honor its commitment to the worldwide community", he said.

The whereabouts of Mr Zhu and Mr Zhang are unclear.

Of course, the two indicted Chinese nationals live in China, so there isn't much chance that they will be tried in the U.S.

It said more than 90 percent of cases alleging economic espionage over the past seven years involve China, and more than two thirds of thefts of trade secrets allegations.

The US and United Kingdom have accused China of violating an agreement relating to commercial espionage.

There were fears the state-sponsored hackers may have "high level access" to their client's networks, the bureau said.

The charges were filed as a larger campaign by the curb efforts by the Chinese to steal American trade secrets.

The Foreign Office said the group had conducted a "malicious" and "sustained" campaign targeting a range of global companies, and that it was "almost certainly" continuing to steal valuable commercial secrets. In October, it charged Chinese intelligence officers with stealing information on a turbo fan engine used in commercial jetliners.

Political tensions between China, Canada and the US have been escalating after Meng Wanzhou, the CFO of Huawei, was arrested in Vancouver at Washington's request.

When a managed service provider is hacked, it can unintentionally provide attackers access to secondary victims who are customers of that company and have their computer systems connected to them, according to experts.

  • Joey Payne