Plagued by a series of global controversies in recent times, the United States Department of Justice, through indictments, has accused five Chinese nationals of carrying out “sophisticated online attacks” against 100 organizations around the world, including companies, universities,government agencies and nonprofits.
This situation comes on the back of significant reports that broke out back in June, accusing Chinese government-backed hacker groups of planning cyber attacks on Indian government agencies and companies. Conversations taking place on hard to trace dark web forums and chat rooms had provided significant shreds of evidence that put cybersecurity officials on high alert.
However, this significant development has seen the United States Government put forward allegations in a series of three indictments that shed light on China’s attempt at unlawfully establishing an economic dominance on a global scale. The indictments also unmask China’s attempt at putting itself up as a superpower on the global topography, through a series of organized cyberattacks against major nations.
It has also been reported that the hackers have been using the videogame industry to launder money while working closely with a couple of Malaysian businessmen.
The Malaysian nationals, Liang Yang Ching and Wong Ong Hua were arrested in Malaysia, on Monday.
The hackers identified as Qian Chuan, Tan Dailin, Zhang Haoran, Fu Qiang, Jiang Lizhi have been reportedly targeting tech companies, government organizations, universities, non-profit establishments as well as social media platforms to carry out their illegal activities.
Deputy Attorney General Jefferey A. Rosen in a news conference has announced that the People’s Republic of China has taken this conscious decision to allow its citizens to take up virtual arms and carry out organized cyber attacks against major nations across the world, as this would benefit the country in furthering its devious long term plans.
This announcement was further substantiated by the acting U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia, Michael R. Sherwin, who expressed his views regarding the perpetrators viewing their connections with China as a free ticket to carry out their hacking and online plundering activities across the globe.
The hacking activities, as explained by the Justice Department, were carried out through a method referred to as the “supply chain attack”. This mode of attacking enabled the hackers to break into software companies and embed malicious code into their product mainframe, and once those products were installed into other systems, gave them access to those affected computers through previously embedded code.
Government officials reported that the hacker group and malicious cyber activity was tracked down and identified by cyber researchers under the group names Panda Spider, Barium, Wicked Panda, Advanced Persistent, and Threat 41.
The hacker groups, according to cyber researchers, had started off by targeting video game developers, and proliferating malware that could be used for future follow up and infiltration operations. But there came a shift in their target that saw the groups turn their vision from video game companies to a plethora of other organizations based out of major global nations. With this came a change in tactic and further sophistication of hacking technique which made the hacker groups even more lethal than previously perceived.
It has been reported that with the backing of the Chinese government, more such hacker groups will be set free to further the motives of the ambitious nation. However, according to US government reports, there has been a significant rise in cybersecurity protocols in America, with big corporations such as Microsoft, Verizon, Facebook, and Google coming forward in joining forces against future cyber attacks.