A federal grand jury in Pittsburgh indicted three Chinese individuals Monday for stealing internal communications, passwords, trade secrets and other data from Moody’s Analytics, Siemens AG and GPS technology manufacturer Trimble, Inc.
According to the indictment, the alleged hackers Dong Hao, Wu Yingzhou and Xia Lei were owners, employees and associates of the Guangzhou-based firm Boyusec and represented the company as a legitimate cybersecurity firm. Each are charged with using fraudulent “spearphish” email campaigns and malware to carry out their conspiracy from 2011 to May 2017.
At a briefing Monday, acting U.S. Attorney Soo Song said the government will seek to extradite the alleged hackers for trial in Pittsburgh. Federal authorities in the city have become leaders in investigating and prosecuting cyber crime, she said.
A federal grand jury in Pittsburgh indicted five members of the Chinese People's Liberation Army in 2014 for criminal corporate espionage and cyber hacking.
According to Song, the attacks against Moody’s, Siemens and Trimble came at a tremendous cost to the companies. The indictment did not specify a dollar amount.
“The fruits of these cyber intrusions and exfiltration of data represent a staggering amount of dollars and hours lost to the companies in terms of research, development, testing, trade secrets and the cost to remediate these illegal cyber intrusions,” Song said.
This case is part of a national U.S. effort to “expose, disrupt and prosecute hackers” overseas, according to Song.
“Whether a defendant is in China, Russia, Nigeria, we follow the evidence, we identify the actor behind the computer screen and we bring the criminal charge,” she said. “If you don’t identify and expose the conduct, nothing will ever change.”
Song said the indictment unsealed Tuesday followed a multi-agency investigation led by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Western District of Pennsylvania and the FBI's Pittsburgh Division. The National Security Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, the Naval Criminal Investigative Service and the Air Force Office of Special Investigations were also involved.