In a press release made available to the public on October 30th, 2018, the United States Department of Justice announced the indictment of various members of Chinese Intelligence and their team of hackers. The indictment officially names two Chinese officers; Zha Rong and Chai Meng, 5 of their co-conspirators; Zhang Zhang-Gui, Liu Chunliang, Gao Hong Kun, Zhuang Xiaowei, and Ma Zhiqi – alleged to have carried out hacking operations on behalf of them, along with three others; Tian Xi, Gu Gen and Li Xiao.
From January 2010 to May 2015, the team is alleged to have carried out repeated hacking operations against various US and internationally based businesses with the intention of obtaining,”among other data, intellectual property and confidential business information, including information related to a turbofan engine used in commercial airliners.” Their actions are primarily tied to active hacking attempts against and intellectual property theft of several European and US based aviation companies and parts manufacturers, 13 in total. Included in the US states effected by the theft/breach are Arizona, Massachusetts, California and Oregon.
According to the official indictment filed in the Southern District of California provided below, working under the direction of Zha Rong and Chai Meng, the Chinese hackers listed above “attempted a series of intrusions in order to facilitate intrusions and steal non-public commercial and other data.” Alleging that, to do this, “the hackers used a range of techniques, including spear phishing, sowing multiple different strains of malware into company computer systems, using the victim companies own websites as ‘watering holes’ to compromise website visitors’ computers, and domain hijacking through the compromise of domain registrars.” Perhaps most importantly, these hacks were successful.
View Full Indictment from DOJ: