The u.s. department of Justice announced Tuesday the indictment of two Chinese accused of having conducted a series of computer attacks, in particular against companies engaged in the search for a vaccine against the COVID-19.
These ” two hackeurs chinese were working with the chinese ministry of State Security “, said at a press conference John Demers, in charge of national security issues within the department.
Beyond attacks against businesses of a dozen western countries, including Australia, the United Kingdom or Belgium, they have also referred to “non-governmental organizations, religious activists and pro-democracy and Human rights in the United States, China and Hong Kong,” he added.
According to the us authorities, Li Xiaoyu, 34, and Dong Jiazhi, 33 years old, met during their studies of engineers and stole trade secrets, estimated at several hundreds of thousands of dollars for ten years.
Recently, they attacked businesses in california who worked on the research of vaccines, treatments or screening tests for the novel coronavirus, according to the federal prosecutor in charge of the dossier, William Hyslop.
The two men, who have not been arrested and is to be found a priori in China, operated for their own profit, but “also worked occasionally for the chinese government,” according to Demers.
May 13, the american federal police and the agency for cyber security had issued a rare warning to u.s. researchers working on the new coronavirus to warn against the risk of hacking chinese, that Beijing was firmly denied.
On 7 July, the director of the FBI Christopher Wray had reiterated these accusations. “At this very moment, China is working to undermine (…) the american research on the Covid-19,” he assured.
The government of Donald Trump has adopted in recent months a tone very critical of China, accused by the president with concealing the extent of the spread of the new coronavirus during its appearance in the centre of the country by the end of the year 2019.