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U.S. Charges 7 Individuals in 14-Year Cyber Espionage Case

ByHuey Yee Ong

Apr 4, 2024
U.S. Charges 7 Individuals in 14-Year Cyber Espionage Case

Seven hackers with ties to the Chinese government have been accused of conspiring to commit computer fraud and wire fraud as part of a broader scheme that has impacted thousands of individuals and organizations worldwide.

The US Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York (EDNY) revealed that these hackers are associated with APT31, also recognized as Violet Typhoon, a cyber threat group known for targeting US entities, foreign critics, businesses, and political figures to advance China’s economic espionage and foreign intelligence goals.

According to Breon Peace, the US attorney for the EDNY, this extensive operation spanned over a decade and affected numerous victims globally. The charges come amidst heightened tensions between the US and China over cybersecurity concerns.

In addition to charging the seven hackers, all in their 30s, with conspiracy to commit computer and wire fraud, the US Department of the Treasury has imposed sanctions on two of the hackers and Wuhan Xiaoruizhi Science and Technology Company Ltd. (Wuhan XRZ), a firm established in 2010 in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. Wuhan XRZ is alleged to be a front company for China’s Ministry of State Security (MSS), serving as a cover for various malicious cyber operations.

Concurrently, the UK announced its own sanctions against the two individuals associated with APT31 and the Wuhan-based technology company. The UK’s measures highlight the global impact of these cyber activities, emphasizing that the targeted individuals have affected officials, government entities, and parliamentarians both domestically and internationally.

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Featured Image courtesy of freepik

Huey Yee Ong

Hello, from one tech geek to another. Not your beloved TechCrunch writer, but a writer with an avid interest in the fast-paced tech scenes and all the latest tech mojo. I bring with me a unique take towards tech with a honed applied psychology perspective to make tech news digestible. In other words, I deliver tech news that is easy to read.

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