US court charges Chinese 'hackers' with attacks on three corporations

Three Chinese hackers have been indicted in the US for alleged attacks on Moody's Analytics and Siemens AG in an effort to steal confidential business information as recently as May 2017, according to an indictment unsealed Monday.

This facilitated "unauthorized, persistent access to the recipient's computer", which the co-conspirators used to install malware that they referred to as "ups" and "exeproxy", according to the indictment.

An indictment filed in September and unsealed in federal court Monday alleged three men working for Guangzhou Bo Yu Information Technology Company-also known as Boyusec-launched "coordinated and unauthorized" cyber attacks against financial services company Moody's, Global Positioning System maker Trimble and electronics manufacturer Siemens.

The men are accused of sending phony emails that look legitimate in order to hack into corporate computers across the world.

Wu Yingzhuo, Dong Hao and Xia Lei were indicted Monday by a grand jury "for computer hacking, theft of trade secrets, conspiracy and identity theft" and intentionally causing damage to those computer systems.

That malware has been implicated in the 2014 hack attack on the U.S. federal Office of Personnel Management (OPM). The hackers used that access to steal usernames and passwords belonging to Siemens employees and proprietary commercial data stored by the company.

Along with Xia they remain in China. "We rigorously monitor and protect our infrastructure and continually detect and hunt for breaches", the spokesperson said, but noted the company "does not comment on internal security matters".

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

They are charged with crimes dating to 2011.

The hackers have also been charged with wire fraud, facing a maximum 20 years in prison, and agggravated identity theft.

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