Advertisements
//
you're reading...
Communication & Technology

U.S. accuses China of cyber spying on American companies


A map of China is seen through a magnifying glass on a computer screen showing binary digits in Singapore in this January 2, 2014 photo illustration

A map of China is seen through a magnifying glass on a computer screen showing binary digits in Singapore in this January 2, 2014 photo illustration

A U.S. grand jury has indicted five Chinese military officers on charges of hacking into American companies for information on nuclear plant design, solar manufacturing and other secrets in the toughest action taken by Washington to address cyber spying.

China denied the charges, saying they were “made up” and would damage trust between the two nations. The Chinese foreign ministry said it would suspend the activities of a Sino-U.S. Internet working group.

Officials in Washington have argued for years that cyber espionage is one of the nation’s top national security concerns because foreign hackers have stolen secrets from defence contractors and technology secrets that could pose a threat to U.S. prosperity.

Yet the indictments mark the first time the United States has filed charges against specific officials of foreign governments, accusing them of corporate cyber spying.

“When a foreign nation uses military or intelligence resources and tools against an American executive or corporation to obtain trade secrets or sensitive business information for the benefit of its state-owned companies, we must say, ‘enough is enough,'” U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said at a press conference.

Washington announced the charges as new claims emerged last week about the scope of overseas spying by the United States. Cisco Systems Inc responded by asking President Barack Obama to curtail government surveillance programs.

Federal prosecutors said the suspects targeted companies in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in the nuclear power, metal and solar energy industries.

Targets included Alcoa Inc, Allegheny Technologies Inc, United States Steel Corp, Westinghouse Electric Co, U.S. subsidiaries of SolarWorld AG and a steel workers’ union, Department of Justice officials said.

Officials declined to estimate the size of the losses to the U.S. companies at issue, but said they were “significant.”

Some of the companies gave their response to the indictments.

“We are happy that the American government is taking the initiative now and we support the U.S. authorities’ investigations to investigate this under criminal law,” SolarWorld CEO Frank Asbeck said in a statement.

Alcoa spokeswoman Monica Orbe said: “To our knowledge, no material information was compromised.”

U.S. Steel declined to comment.

‘SMOKING KEYBOARDS’

The move “indicates that DOJ has ‘smoking keyboards’ and (is) willing to bring the evidence to a court of law and be more transparent,” said Frank Cilluffo, head of the Homeland Security Policy Institute at the George Washington University.

American businesses have long urged the government to act against cyber espionage from abroad, particularly by China.

Secret U.S. State Department cables obtained by WikiLeaks traced major systems breaches to China, Reuters reported in 2011. One 2009 cable pinpointed attacks to a specific unit of China’s People’s Liberation Army.

Sceptics said U.S. authorities wouldn’t be able to arrest those indicted as Beijing would not hand them over. Still, the move would prevent the individuals from travelling to the United States or other countries that have an extradition agreement with the United States.

“It won’t slow China down,” said Eric Johnson, dean of the business school at Vanderbilt University and an expert on cyber security issues.

Experts said the indictments would have some impact on those accused of hacking U.S. companies.

Stewart Baker, a former NSA attorney, said the hackers named in the indictments might have trouble getting jobs in China’s private sector when they move on from employment with the People’s Liberation Army.

“In the long run, it could even hurt your employability in China, because U.S. government is going to look askance at Chinese firms that hire former cyber spies,” said Baker, a partner with Steptoe & Johnson LLP.

In an indictment filed in the Western District of Pennsylvania, prosecutors said the officers hacked into computers starting in 2006, often by infecting machines with tainted “spear phishing” emails to employees that purport to be from colleagues.

Prosecutors alleged that one hacker, for example, stole cost and pricing information in 2012 from an Oregon-based solar panel production unit of SolarWorld. The company was losing market share at the time to Chinese competitors who were systematically pricing exports below production costs, according to the indictment.

Another officer is accused of stealing technical and design specifications about pipes for nuclear plants from Westinghouse Electric Co as the company was negotiating with a Chinese company to build four power plants in China, prosecutors said.

Source: Reuters “US accuses China of cyber spying on American companies
 

 

Advertisements

About chankaiyee2

Author of the book "Tiananmen's Tremendous Achievements" about how with the help of Tiananmen Protests, talented scholars with moral integrity seized power in the Party and state and brought prosperity to China. The second edition of the book will be published within a few days to mark the 25th anniversary of Tiananmen Protests All the parts in the first edition remain in the second edition with a few changes due to information available later and better understanding. There are also some changes for improvements of style. The new parts are Chapters 12-19 on events in China after the first edition was published: The fierce power struggle for succession between reformists and conservatives; Xi Jinping winning all elders’ support during his mysterious disappearance for 2 weeks in early September, 2012; and Xi Jinping Cyclone. Chan Kai Yee's new book: SPACE ERA STRATEGY: The Way China Beats The US An eye-opening book that tells the truth how the US is losing to China. The US is losing as it adopts the outdated strategy of Air-Sea Battle while China adopts the space era strategy to pursue integrated space and air capabilities: It is losing due to its diplomacy that has given rise to Russian-Chinese alliance. US outdated strategy has enabled China to catch up and surpass the US in key weapons: Hypersonic weapons (HGV) that Pentagon regards as the weapon that will dominate the world in the future. Aerospaceplane in China’s development of space-air bomber that can engage enemy anywhere in the world within an hour and destroy an entire aircraft carrier battle group within minutes. Anti-satellite (ASAT) weapons, anti-ASAT weapons, stealth aircrafts, drones, AEW&C, etc. The book gives detailed descriptions of China’s weapon development based on information mainly from Chinese sources that the author monitors closely. U.S. Must Not Be Beaten by China! China is not a democracy. Its political system cannot prevent the emergence of a despotic leader or stop such a leader when he begins to bring disasters to people. A few decades ago, Mao Zedong, the worst tyrant in world history did emerge and bring disasters to Chinese people. He wanted to fight a nuclear war to replace capitalism with communism but could not bring nuclear holocaust to world people as China was too weak and poor at that time. If a despot like Mao Zedong emerges when China has surpassed the US in military strength, world people will suffer the misery experienced by Chinese people in Mao era. China surpassing the US in GDP is not something to worry about as China has the heavy burden to satisfy its huge population, but China surpassing the US in military strength will be world people’s greatest concern if China remains an autocracy. US people are of much better quality than Chinese people. What they lack is a wise leader to adopt the correct strategy and diplomacy and the creative ways to use its resources in developing its military capabilities. I hope that with the emergence of a great leader, the US can put an end to its decline and remain number one in the world. China, US, space era strategy, air-sea battle, space-air bomber, arms race, weapon development, chan kai yee

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Advertisements

Type 407 Training Visas

Get An Australian Diploma

Learn How To Sell Real Estate To Chinese Buyers

Sell Your Real Estate To Chinese Investors

China Daily Mail

China Daily Mail is not affiliated in any way with The China Daily or the government of the People's Republic of China.

Enter your email address to receive an email each time an article is published, or join our RSS feed. 100% FREE.

Want to write for China Daily Mail?

Read "Contributor Guidelines" above to join our team of 68 contributors. Write news or opinion about issues in China, or post photos and video. Promote your own site.

Recent Posts

China Daily Mail Stories Have Been Featured In:

%d bloggers like this: