The US justice department has indicted two Chinese men accused of hacking into the computer networks of companies and government agencies in Western countries.
The pair are allegedly part of a “hacking group” known as Advanced Persistent Threat 10, affiliated with China’s main intelligence service.
Zhu Hua and Zhang Shilong worked for a company called Huaying Haitai and in association with the Chinese Ministry of State Security, the US court filing says.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) said that from at least 2006 until 2018, the two extensively hacked into computer systems with the aim of stealing intellectual property and confidential business and technological information
The FBI said they had also hacked into US Navy computer systems and stolen the personal information of more than 100,000 personnel. FBI director Christopher Wray said the two men were at present “beyond US jurisdiction”.
The UK government said it was joining allies in holding the Chinese government responsible for a global campaign targeting commercial secrets.
Australia and New Zealand said they too held China responsible for the global hacking campaign and joined their “like-minded partners” in condemning the activity.