China slammed by US and more than a dozen allies for ‘massive hacking campaign to steal trade secrets and technologies’

WASHINGTON D.C., Dec 20, 2018, SCMP. The United States called out China on Thursday for what it said were Beijing’s sustained efforts to steal trade secrets and technologies from other countries in an enormous hacking campaign. It strikes a major blow to Beijing amid negotiations to ease a trade war that is wreaking havoc on the global economy, reported the South China Morning Post.

The US Justice Department announced two criminal indictments against hackers associated with the Chinese government. The charges include conspiracy to commit intrusions against a dozen companies in the US and around the world.

The defendants “use malware to access computer networks. They steal data for an extended time,” said Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

They “allegedly compromised computers in at least a dozen countries including the United States” and affected industries including “banking and finance, telecommunications and computer, consumer electronics, medical equipment and packaging,” he said.

The announcement comes at a delicate time in the two countries’ relationship. The US and China have only recently resumed negotiations on trade issues in an effort to de-escalate a trade war that is hurting not just the growth of both countries, but also the rest of the world.

The indictment also showcases the difficulty the US faces in dealing with China in the trade war.

While Chinese President Xi Jinping has kept some promises made to US President Donald Trump at their G20 meeting, including lowering auto tariffs in an apparent act of good faith, the apparent hacks by Beijing to gain economic advantage – and America’s response – may complicate negotiations.

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