China calls US ‘arrogant and selfish’ over hacking charges

Two Chinese citizens, Zhu Hua and Zhang Shilong, are accused of trying to illegally obtain intellectual property, technology secrets and personal data

Friday 21 December 2018 13:27
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A poster displayed during a news conference at the Department of Justice in Washington
A poster displayed during a news conference at the Department of Justice in Washington

China has called the US “arrogant and selfish” after two Chinese citizens were charged for allegedly participating in a global hacking campaign to steal trade secrets and other sensitive information from American government agencies and corporations.

Zhu Hua and Zhang Shilong are accused of trying to illegally obtain intellectual property, technology secrets and the personal data of over 100,000 US navy members over a 12-year period.

The crimes were apparently part of several campaigns lasting years that targeted dozens of companies as well as several foreign governments, according to the US department of justice.

Neither of the two men have been apprehended but the US claims they worked in coordination with the Chinese ministry of state security to commit the crimes.

Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying accused the US of undermining other countries’ development in order to defend its own hegemony.

Ms Hua spoke at a briefing after she had condemned the US in a written statement and accused them of “fabricating facts” on the hacking charges.

The hacking was carried out by a group known as Advanced Persistent Threat 10 (APT 10), with the two men accused of trying to steal information from as many as 45 American technology companies and government agencies.

The thefts began in 2006 and another campaign to steal intellectual property and data from technology companies started in 2014, the Department of Justice said.

The 2014 campaign, which targeted remote-access client-management companies, resulted in intrusions of computers in at least 12 companies.

“China’s goal, simply put, is to replace the US as the world’s largest global superpower,” FBI director Christopher Wray said.

US allies echoed the accusations as the UK, Australia, Canada and New Zealand all criticised China for violating a pledge Beijing made in 2015 to refrain from hacking for commercial gain.

“This campaign is one of the most significant and widespread cyber intrusions against the UK and allies uncovered to date, targeting trade secrets and economies around the world,” British foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt said.

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