[ISN] U.S. Department of Justice Indicts Five Members of the Chinese PLA ‘Unit 61398’ for Cyber Espionage

http://www.infosecnews.org/u-s-department-of-justice-indicts-five-members-of-the-chinese-pla-unit-61398-for-cyber-espionage/ By William Knowles Senior Editor InfoSec News May 19, 2014 For the first time ever, a U.S. grand jury in the Western District of Pennsylvania has indicted five Chinese military hackers for computer hacking, economic espionage, trade secret theft, aggravated identity theft, and other offenses directed at six American victims such as a labor union, critical infrastructure, metals and solar industries from 2006 to the present. The 56 page indictment alleges that the defendants, Wang Dong, Sun Kailiang, Wen Xinyu, Huang Zhenyu, and Gu Chunhui, who were officers in Unit 61398 of the Third Department of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) hacked into American entities, to maintain unauthorized access to their computers and to steal information from those entities that would be useful to their competitors in China. This including state-owned enterprises (SOEs). In some cases, it alleges, the conspirators stole trade secrets that would have been particularly beneficial to Chinese companies at the time they were stolen. In other cases, it alleges, the conspirators also stole sensitive, internal communications that would provide a competitor, or an adversary in litigation, with insight into the strategy and vulnerabilities of the American entity. “For too long, the Chinese government has blatantly sought to use cyber espionage to obtain economic advantage for its state-owned industries,” said FBI Director James B. Comey. “The indictment announced today is an important step. But there are many more victims, and there is much more to be done. With our unique criminal and national security authorities, we will continue to use all legal tools at our disposal to counter cyber espionage from all sources.” […]