5 Chinese Military Hackers Indicted for Cybercrimes

20 May 2014 Internet, IT & e-Discovery Blog Blog
Authors: Peter Vogel

The US filed charges against 5 “officers in Unit 61398 of the Third Department of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA)” and declared that “Cyber theft is real theft and we will hold state sponsored cyber thieves accountable as we would any other transnational criminal organization that steals our goods and breaks our laws.”

The Department of Justice stated:

The indictment alleges that the defendants conspired to hack 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, including state-owned enterprises (SOEs). 

These crimes were allegedly committed between 2006 to 2014 against:

Westinghouse Electric Co.

U.S. subsidiaries of SolarWorld AG

United States Steel Corp. Allegheny Technologies Inc.

United Steel, Paper and Forestry, Rubber, Manufacturing, Energy, Allied Industrial and Service Workers International Union (USW), and

Alcoa

The crimes charged in the indictment were:

  • Conspiring to commit computer fraud and abuse
  • Accessing (or attempting to access) a protected computer without authorization to obtain information for the purpose of commercial advantage and private financial gain.
  • Transmitting a program, information, code, or command with the intent to cause damage to protected computers.
  • Aggravated identity theft.
  • Economic espionage.
  • Trade secret theft.

The “Wanted Poster” is a dramatic reality and watching this case will reveal a great deal about cyber events, intrusions, and crime.

This blog is made available by Foley & Lardner LLP (“Foley” or “the Firm”) for informational purposes only. It is not meant to convey the Firm’s legal position on behalf of any client, nor is it intended to convey specific legal advice. Any opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of Foley & Lardner LLP, its partners, or its clients. Accordingly, do not act upon this information without seeking counsel from a licensed attorney. This blog is not intended to create, and receipt of it does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. Communicating with Foley through this website by email, blog post, or otherwise, does not create an attorney-client relationship for any legal matter. Therefore, any communication or material you transmit to Foley through this blog, whether by email, blog post or any other manner, will not be treated as confidential or proprietary. The information on this blog is published “AS IS” and is not guaranteed to be complete, accurate, and or up-to-date. Foley makes no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, as to the operation or content of the site. Foley expressly disclaims all other guarantees, warranties, conditions and representations of any kind, either express or implied, whether arising under any statute, law, commercial use or otherwise, including implied warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Foley or any of its partners, officers, employees, agents or affiliates be liable, directly or indirectly, under any theory of law (contract, tort, negligence or otherwise), to you or anyone else, for any claims, losses or damages, direct, indirect special, incidental, punitive or consequential, resulting from or occasioned by the creation, use of or reliance on this site (including information and other content) or any third party websites or the information, resources or material accessed through any such websites. In some jurisdictions, the contents of this blog may be considered Attorney Advertising. If applicable, please note that prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. Photographs are for dramatization purposes only and may include models. Likenesses do not necessarily imply current client, partnership or employee status.

Authors

Related Services