5 Examples of Chinese-Sponsored Hacks Against American Companies and Interests

Fox Wilmington recently covered some of the biggest hacks that have implicated the Chinese government.

Many of these cases involve the Chinese government trying to collect Americans’ data and steal scientific research.

Back in 2015, Chinese strongman Xi Jinping promised then-President Barack Obama that his government would curtail such practices.

Fox Wilmington detailed five major cyberattacks connected to China of the last decade:

  1. Equifax

Earlier in in February, the Justice Department pressed charges against four members of the Chinese military for breaching into computer networks of the credit-reporting agency Equifax and then stealing the personal data of millions of Americans.

The four defendants were all members of the People’s Liberation Army and were also accused of stealing Equifax’s trade secrets.

 

  1. S. Office of Personnel Management

Back in June 2015, the U.S. Office of Personnel Management announced that it suffered a cyberattack that left the personal data of over 21 million current, former, and prospective federal employees vulnerable to potential cyber malfeasances.

Even though the first hacker was detected in March 2014, a second intruder remained undetected until April 2015. By then, according to investigators, data on security clearances, background checks, and fingerprint records were already extracted. A House inquiry discovered that the hack was linked to the group “Deep Panda”, which has connections to the Chinese military.

  

  1. Marriott International

In November 2018, Marriott International announced that it was victim of a massive scale security breach, with the personal information of roughly 500 million guests having been extracted by hackers.

Starting in 2014, hackers began collecting data, which included credit and passport numbers, birth dates, phone numbers, and hotel arrival and departure dates on Marriott’s guests. The breach remained undetected for four years and impacted hotels in the Starwood chain that Marriott acquired in 2016, according to officials’ report.

Attorney General William Barr believes that Chinese agents were responsible for the hack.

  1. Anthem  

From the period of 2014 and 2015, hackers stole the personal information of nearly 80 million current and former customers and employees of the health insurance company Anthem. The stolen data consisted of Social Security numbers, birth dates, employment information, incomes, and street addresses.

According to officials from Symantec, a cybersecurity firm, the hack was supposedly the work of a Chinese group called Black Vine which had been carrying out cyber espionage against aerospace, energy, and health care industries.

  1. U.S. Universities

iDefense, a cybersecurity branch of Accenture Security, reported back in March 2019 that several American universities fell in the crosshairs of Chinese hackers attempting to steal maritime military technology and other secrets.

The cybersecurity unit was able to identify the targeted universities by catching on to how their networks were pinging servers based in China that were suspected of being under the control of a Chinese hacking group that has taken the names of TEMP.Persicope, Leviathan, or Mudcarp, per a Wall Street Journal report.

China may have changed some of its communist domestic policies, but it still maintains residual authoritarianism on foreign policy matters, in which it exploits security holes in America’s cybersecurity apparatus and immigration policies. to subvert its interests.

 

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