The Department of Justice (DOJ) announced charges against five Chinese nationals Wednesday who hacked into companies and institutions throughout the United States and elsewhere, as well as charges against two Malaysian nationals who allegedly helped the hackers target victims.
“The Chinese defendants targeted well over 100 victims worldwide in a variety of industries and sectors that are, sadly, part of the standard target list for Chinese hackers,” Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen said in a statement.
The charges allege two categories of criminal conduct. The Chinese hackers allegedly compromised software providers worldwide and then modified the code to install “backdoors” which allowed them to hack the software providers’ customers.
Chinese hackers allegedly “compromised the networks of video game companies worldwide (a billion-dollar industry) and defrauded them of in-game resources.” Two Chinese hackers and both Malaysian defendants are accused of selling the resources on the black market. (RELATED: Australian Government Hit By Massive Cyberattack For 2nd Straight Year, Some Suspect China)
Both Malaysian defendants are in custody as of Sunday night, and will face extradition hearings. The Chinese hackers are still at large, according to the Associated Press.
The Chinese defendants are part of the Advanced Persistent Threat