(The Associated Press)

U.S. charges 4 Chinese military members in Equifax breach

The 2017 breach affected roughly 145 million people

Four members of the Chinese military have been charged with breaking into the networks of the Equifax credit reporting agency and stealing the personal information of tens of millions of Americans, the Justice Department said Monday, blaming Beijing for one of the largest hacks in history.

The 2017 breach affected roughly 145 million people, with the hackers successfully stealing names, Social Security numbers and other personal information stored in the company’s databases.

The four — members of the People’s Liberation Army, an arm of the Chinese military — are also accused of stealing the company’s trade secrets, law enforcement officials said.

The case comes as the Trump administration has warned against what it sees as the growing political and economic influence of China, and efforts by Beijing to collect data on Americans and steal scientific research and innovation.

“This was a deliberate and sweeping intrusion into the private information of the American people,” Attorney General William Barr said in a statement.

“Today, we hold PLA hackers accountable for their criminal actions, and we remind the Chinese government that we have the capability to remove the Internet’s cloak of anonymity and find the hackers that nation repeatedly deploys against us,” he added.

The case is one of several the Justice Department has brought over the years against members of the PLA. The Obama administration in 2014 charged five Chinese military hackers with breaking into the networks of major American corporations to siphon trade secrets.

The criminal charges were filed in federal court in Atlanta, where the company is based.

The indictment, which details efforts the hackers took to cover their tracks, includes charges of conspiracy to commit computer fraud, conspiracy to commit economic espionage and conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

READ MORE: Equifax hack compromised 100,000 Canadians’ personal data

Eric Tucker And Michael Balsamo, The Associated Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

privacy

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

RCMP end patrols on Morice West Service Road

Withdrawal opens door for talks today between hereditary chiefs, province and federal gov

Terrace cab stolen, found destroyed along Hwy 16 riverbank at rest stop near Prince Rupert

Driver was sent to hospital after stealing the running vehicle from company lot

CGL must revise impact assessment on Unist’ot’en Healing Center

Environmental Assessment Office not satisfied with report’s shortcomings

Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs call for end of police patrols

Temporary closure of field office not enough to meet demands

Vandals cause damage estimated at $3,000

“It was just malicious, stupid, drunken behaviour” - Thwaites

B.C. residents in Wet’suwet’en territory have right to police presence: Public Safety Minister

Nevertheless, Bill Blair said officials remain ‘very anxious’ for the barricades to come down

RCMP to stop providing security for Prince Harry and Meghan

Public safety minister says RCMP has been helping UK police intermittently since November

Should you shave your beard to stop COVID-19? The U.S. CDC has a guide

Facial hair could be a big no-no if COVID-19 reaches pandemic status

First arrests made at BC Legislature after Wet’suwet’en supporters spray chalk on property

Legislature security arrested two people, allegedly for mischief

Canada’s 13th coronavirus case confirmed as husband of 12th patient

More than 81,000 cases of COVID-19 have occurred since the virus emerged in China

Shuswap boy wins hockey stick from NHL hero with rock, paper, scissors

Chase’s Payton Koch’s exchange with Minnesota Wild’s Kevin Fiala caught on camera

Surrey will replace its RCMP force with municipal police, province confirms

City of Surrey has been authorized to set up its own city police force

UPDATE: Son, 5, dies in hospital after crash that killed dad, older son on B.C. highway

Mike Cochlin and sons Liam and Quinn were travelling on Highway 5A

Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs to meet today with federal and B.C. governments

Nationwide rail and road blockades have been popping up for weeks

Most Read