Monday, May 19, 2014

When a foreign nation uses military or intelligence resources and tools against an American executive or corporation........., we must say, 'enough is enough'

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder

Said : U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder at a press conference held today to announce U.S. charges against five Chinese military hackers for cyber espionage. 

He announced an indictment against five officers of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) for, what he called, "serious cybersecurity breaches." The six American victim entities identified by him were : Westinghouse Electric, Alcoa, Allegheny Technologies Incorporated, U.S. Steel, the United Steelworkers Union and SolarWorld. 

A federal grand jury in Pittsburgh has found that these five Chinese military officers conspired together, and with others, to hack into the computers of these organizations in order to spy and steal business secrets.

"This is a case alleging economic espionage by members of the Chinese military. These are the first ever charges of 'economic espionage' against known state actors for infiltrating U.S. commercial targets by cyber means. The range of trade secrets and other sensitive business information stolen in this case is significant and demands and aggressive response," the attorney general said. "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,’ he added.
What is Cyber Spying? : Cyber spying means 
accessing to a private data of individuals or an 
organization without asking for permission. 
This act is usually applied for political/military
purpose by linking to the Internet, 
networks or 
individual computers by taking 
advantage of 
the cracking techniques and 
and malicious 
software including 
Trojan horses and spyware. 

"This case should serve as a wake-up call to the seriousness of the ongoing cyberthreat. The indictment makes clear that state actors who engage in economic espionage, even over the Internet from faraway offices in Shanghai, will be exposed for their criminal conduct and sought for apprehension and prosecution in an American court of law," he said.

Attorney General's full statement appears on the website of the US Department of Justice here.

It is widely believed that U.S. authorities wouldn't be able to get hold of the indicted military personnel as the Chinese authorities would never hand them over. But the accused individuals would be black listed from traveling to the US and to the partner countries with whom the United States has an extradition agreement. These individuals also would find it extremely difficult to find jobs in the private sector in China once they leave the PLA. This is because U.S. government can keep a watch on such firms that hire former cyber spies and have an influence on them.

On the other hand, Chinese news agency Xinhua reports that China has strongly protested against the cyber theft charges and decided to suspend activities of the China-U.S. Cyber Working Group.

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