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Feds indict two Chinese nationals for allegedly trying to hack, steal coronavirus research

The alleged hackers were charged in connection with an 11-count indictment on trying to break into the systems of hundreds of companies, individuals and government organizations

July 21, 2020 12:11pm

Updated: July 21, 2020 3:05pm

The Justice Department on Tuesday announced charges for two Chinese national who allegedly tried to steal United States coronavirus research and proprietary information from corporations and the government.

Li Xiaoyu, 34, and Dong Jiazhi, 31, were charged with 11 counts in connection with hacking into the computer systems of hundreds of businesses, government offices, Chinese Communist Party dissidents, members of the clergy and human rights activists in the United States, Hong Kong, and mainland China. 

Their activities have reportedly been taking place over the span of decade, for the benefit of the Chinese government. 

"The hackers stole terabytes of data from hundreds of targets, which comprised a sophisticated and prolific threat to U.S. networks," said the DOJ indictment.

The hacking team also extorted cryptocurrency from individuals and targeted the tech industries of Australia, Belgium, Germany, Japan, Lithuania, Spain, South Korea, Sweden and the United Kingdom.