Two Chinese hackers accused by American prosecutors for theft trade secrets from companies technology and biotechnology, including companies dealing with treatment, the examination and vaccines related to COVID-19.
The Assistant Attorney General for National Security, John Demers, stated in a press conference of the Ministry of Justice that the specific cyber attacks are her effort China steal intellectual property to enhance its competitive advantage in key technology areas.
Demers says Chinese hackers are responsible for one perennial attack which resulted in the theft of data of many terabytes. According to the DOJ, hackers have targeted businesses in eight of the 10 technology sectors of USA, such as: robotics, aircraft, marine equipment, clean energy, biotechnology and advanced railways. More recently, the Chinese hackers they started aiming the networks of biotechnology and other companies developing therapies for COVID-19.
The DOJ believes that Chinese hackers work both for themselves and in the interests of the Chinese Government.
Demers said China has fallen into the same category as RussiaThe Iran and North Korea, which provide a safe haven for cybercriminals. In this case, the Chinese hackers serve the Chinese Communist Party seeking to steal trade secrets and intellectual property of US and other non-Chinese companies, including the COVID-19 investigation.
According to the indictment, the Chinese hackers were able to obtain access in corporate networks exploiting known vulnerabilities, which in some cases had not yet been corrected. They then used this access to install malicious shell programs and software stealing credentials. So they managed to execute commands on the computers of the employees of the target companies, remotely.
The allegations against these hackers come just days after it was revealed that Russians State-backed hackers target pharmaceuticals Companies, healthcare services, academic research centers and other organizations involved in the development of vaccines for coronavirus. The warning came from National Security in the UK cyberspace, with the support of the US National Security Agency and Canadian security services.
Many believe that all states can use hackers to steal coronavirus-related research data.