Thursday, 14 December, 2017

United States charges three Chinese for hacking Moody's, Siemens

Chinese nationals indicted on federal computer hacking charges United States charges three Chinese for hacking Moody's, Siemens
Elsie Buchanan | 28 November, 2017, 00:58

Wu Yingzhuo, Dong Hao and Xia Lei conspired to hack private corporate entities to maintain unauthorised access to, and steal sensitive internal documents and communications from those entities computers, federal prosecutors alleged. The three sent "spearphishing" emails to computers in western Pennsylvania and around the world, according to the indictment. The alleged attackers were charged as individuals and not as state-sponsored actors, though past year the Pentagon linked Boyusec-the cybersecurity firm the hackers worked for-to Beijing's Ministry of State Security intelligence service.

The three suspects work for Chinese cyber-security firm "Guangzhou Bo Yu Information Technology Company Limited", also known under its short name of Boyusec.

Wu is alleged to have stolen Global Positioning System technology that Trimble was developing between 2015 and 2016, which may have been passed onto a competing firm.

Three corporations, Moody's Analytics, Siemens AG, and Trimble, Inc. were the victims of the alleged attacks, which took place between 2011 and May 2017.

Prosecutors say Wu and Dong founded Boyusec and are equity shareholders.

Boyusec is a contractor to China's Ministry of State Security.

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The APT3 hacking group is also known as BuckEye, UPS Team, Gothic Panda and TG-011.

In 2014, the attackers were able to gain unauthorized access to computer networks belonging to electronics manufacturer Siemens.

The U.S.is now investigating Chinese theft of intellectual property, which Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross calls an attack on "American genius". In 2015, the co-conspirators stole approximately 407 gigabytes of proprietary commercial data pertaining to Siemens's energy, technology and transportation businesses.

In an attack against financial services company Moody's, the attackers were able to monitor email correspondence of an economist employed by the company for at least six months.

"We've tracked their activity back to 2007 and they are one of the most technically advanced state-affiliated actors in China", said Adam Meyers, CrowdStrike VP of intelligence, in an email to Fast Company. Researchers at security firm Symantec concluded past year that the actions APT3 were consistent of those of a state-sponsored actor.

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