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US charges Chinese spooks and hackers

by on31 October 2018

Trying to steal confidential aerospace technology

The US Justice Department has charged two Chinese intelligence officers, six hackers, and two aerospace company insiders in a sweeping conspiracy to steal confidential aerospace technology from US and French companies.

The information was part of an unsealed indictment dated October 25.

It seems that for the last five years, two Chinese Ministry of State Security (MSS) spies ran a team of hackers focusing on the theft of designs for a turbofan engine used in US and European commercial airliners.

In a statement, the DOJ said a Chinese state-owned aerospace company was simultaneously working to develop a comparable engine.

The MSS officers involved were identified as Zha Rong, a division director in the Jiangsu Province regional department (JSSD), and Chai Meng, a JSSD section chief.

At the direction of the MSS officers, the hackers infiltrated several US-based aerospace companies, including California-based Capstone Turbine, among others in Arizona, Massachusetts, and Oregon, the DOJ said.

The officers are also said to have recruited at least two Chinese employees of a French aerospace manufacturer -- insiders who allegedly aided by installing Sakula, a remote access trojan, onto company computers.

Last modified on 31 October 2018
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