US authorities have charged three Chinese people for cyber-attacks on three firms, including Siemens and Moody’s Analytics, accusing the foreign nationals of stealing confidential business information.
The hackers allegedly accessed Siemens’ computer networks and stole around 407 gigabytes of proprietary commercial data, prosecutors said on Monday, the Wall Street Journal reports.
Citing an indictment unsealed in a federal court in Pittsburgh, the report said the Chinese nationals were also accused of targeting an “influential economist” at Moody’s and hacking into his emails.
Apart from Siemens and Moody’s Analytics, the hackers allegedly targeted Trimble, a developer of GPS technology, in coordinated cyber-attacks between 2011 and this year.
The three defendants are believed to be in China and aren’t in US custody, a Justice Department spokesman was quoted as saying.
The case appears to be similar to a 2014 indictment against five Chinese military officers, which alleged those officers hacked US companies’ computers to steal trade secrets, the Journal noted.
The Monday indictment doesn’t specify whether the defendants are connected to the Chinese government.
The three alleged hackers — Wu Yingzhuo, Dong Hao and Xia Lei — work for a Guangzhou cyber-security firm, Bo Yu Information Technology Co., according to the indictment.
Reuters quoted US Special Attorney in Pittsburgh, Soo C. Song, as saying that arrest warrants had been issued for the three accused.
“It is not an element or subject of this indictment that there is state sponsorship,” Song said.
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