A health worker examines a mirror in the COVID-19 area of the 32th General Hospital of the Mexican Social Security Institute (IMSS) in Mexico City, on July 20, 2020, amid new coronavirus infections. PEDRO PARDO / AFP
Two Chinese nationals have been charged with attempting to steal COVID-19 antiretroviral drugs and hacking hundreds of companies in the United States and abroad, the U.S. Department of Justice said Tuesday.
Li Xiaoyu, 34, and Dong Jiazhi, 33, also defended human rights in the United States, China, and Hong Kong, according to Deputy Attorney General John Demers.
Li and Dong, who are believed to be in China, acted in some situations “for their own benefit” and others for the benefit of the Ministry of State Security, Demers said at a press conference.
Demers said, “China has taken its position, alongside Russia, Iran and North Korea, and the country’s shameful clubs that provide protection for cyber criminals.”
The Justice Department said Li and Dong, a classmate of Chengdu Electrical Engineering College, have been involved in hacking campaigns for the past decade.
They are based in companies in the United States, Australia, Belgium, Germany, Japan, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Spain, South Korea, Sweden and the United Kingdom, he said.
“Targeted industries include, among others, high-tech manufacturing; medical equipment, civil engineering, and manufacturing facilities; business, educational and sports software; solar power; medicine; safety, ”he said.
“Recently, the defense investigators investigated the vulnerabilities in the computer network of the company developing COVID-19, experimental technologies, and treatments,” he said.
Justice Department officials said Li and Dong focused on biotech companies in California, Maryland and Massachusetts but did not appear to have failed any COVID-19 tests.
A health worker prepares medicine for the COVID-19 area of 32 General Hospital of the Mexican Social Security Institute (IMSS) in Mexico City, on July 20, 2020, amid new coronavirus infections. PEDRO PARDO / AFP
Designed for Consent
The Justice Department said the hackers also targeted “non-governmental organizations, individual rebels, clerics, and politicians and human rights activists in the United States.” overseas, including Hong Kong and China. ”
According to the indictment, they provided state security officials with passwords for the personal email accounts of the Chinese opposition, the Hong Kong mayor, the pastor of the Christian church in Xi’an and a former protester in Tiananmen Square.
Among the allegations of theft was an email between an opponent and the Dalai Lama’s office.
They have been accused of stealing code from software companies, developing drug information from the pharmaceutical industry and weapons planning and experimental data from security contractors.
The destination company name could not be found.
But according to the allegations, they include Dutch electronics company, Swedish internet company, Lithuania sports company, German engineering company, Belgian software company, Australian security defender, South shipping company Korea, Spanish electronics and industry defense firm and British cancer research center.
Li and Dong are said to have stolen information from security contractors about military satellite programs, military networks and communications systems as well as dishwashers and generators.
The grand jury returned the charge to the eastern state of Washington on July 7 but closed it only on Tuesday.
Li and Dong have been charged with conspiracy to commit aggravated robbery, conspiracy to commit aggravated robbery, conspiracy to commit aggravated robbery, conspiracy to commit aggravated robbery, conspiracy to commit aggravated robbery.
China accused the United States last month of defaming Beijing following allegations that Chinese filmmakers were trying to steal coronavirus tests.
The statement has added to tensions between the world’s ruling elites, who have been selling alcohol since the onset of a deadly disease that has killed more than 600,000 people since it emerged in China late last year.
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Zhao said, “Judging by past records, the US has done the largest cybertheft operation in the world.”