Millions of Americans caught up in Chinese hacking plot – US

Millions of Americans caught up in Chinese hacking plot - US
(L-R Top row): Ni Gaobin; Cheng Feng; Xiong Wang; Sun Xiaohui (L-R Bottom row): Peng Yaowen; Zhao Guangzong; Weng MingUS Department of Justice

Millions of Americans ‘ online transactions have been uncovered in a” ominous” Chinese hackers narrative that targeted US officers, according to the justice ministry and FBI on Monday.

Seven Chinese citizens have been accused of carrying out a common cyber-attack campaign.

They are accused of having relations to a 14-year phishing activity.

Up to$ 10 million ( £8 million ) will be offered as a reward for information on the seven men, according to the US state department.

The justice ministry said thieves had targeted US and overseas critics of China, companies, and lawmakers.

The seven people reportedly sent over 10, 000 “malicious letters, impacting thousands of victims, across several continents”, in what the justice ministry called a “prolific world hackers activity” backed by China’s state.

” Today’s news exposes China’s steady and boisterous efforts to undermine our government’s cybersecurity and specific Americans and our innovation”, FBI Director Christopher Wray said.

The FBI will continue to send a clear message that virtual spying will not be tolerated as long as China continues to pin the US and our companions, he said.” We does relentlessly do those who threaten our country’s security and prosperity,” he continued.

The claims come after the UK’s state also accused China of being accountable for “malicious computer strategies” targeting the government’s Electoral Commission and officials. Diplomats at the Chinese embassy in London said it” strongly opposes” the accusations, calling them” completely fabricated and malicious slanders”.

New Zealand’s government also said its parliament had been targeted by China- backed hackers, the New Zealand Herald reported.

A spokesperson for the Chinese embassy in Washington DC said “without valid evidence, relevant countries jumped to an unwarranted conclusion” and “made groundless accusations”.

US prosecutors claimed that the hacking caused the confirmed or potential compromise of work accounts, personal emails, online storage, and phone call records in an indictment laying out the charges against the seven Chinese men.

The emails they are accused of sending to targets frequently appeared to be from well-known news organizations or journalists and had links to hidden tracking. The information that a person receives via email, including their location and IP addresses, would be sent to a server allegedly run by the defendants.

According to US prosecutors, this information was then used to make more “direct and sophisticated targeted hacking” possible, including hacking of home routers and other electronic devices.

They were also said to have targeted foreign dissidents around the world, along with those working at the White House and US state departments, and in some cases their spouses.

The men” successfully compromised Hong Kong pro-democracy activists and their associates located in Hong Kong, the United States, and other foreign locations with identical malware,” according to one example provided by the justice department.

US companies were hacked too, with the men allegedly targeting defence, information technology, telecommunications, manufacturing and trade, finance, consulting, legal, and research industries.

The justice department said that the targets included defense contractors that provide support to the US military and” a leading provider of 5G network equipment.”