Tuesday, May 28, 2024

US Sanctions PRC-Linked Chinese Hacker Group APT-31 Who Targeted US Infra

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The US State Department said actions will be taken against multiple people and organisations and criminal charges have been announced against seven People’s Republic of China (PRC) hackers of the infamous APT-31 cyber threat group.

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The US State Department said series of actions have been taken against the APT-31, a hacker group linked to the Chinese government, which is accused of targeting US officials, politicians, and other key state entities in the United States.

“The United States Government is taking a series of actions against APT 31, a cyber threat group connected to the government of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) that has targeted U.S officials, politicians and campaign officials, various U.S. economic and defense entities and officials, as well as foreign democracy activists, academics, and government officials,” the US State Department said.

It said that actions will be taken against multiple people and organisations and criminal charges have been announced against seven People’s Republic of China (PRC) hackers.

“The US Department of Justice has unsealed an indictment charging Ni Gaobin, Weng Ming, Cheng Feng, Peng Yaowen, Sun Xiaohuannouncedi, Xiong Wang, and Zhao Guangzong with conspiring to commit an offence against the United States (computer fraud), in violation of 18 U.S.C. SS 371, and conspiring to commit wire fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. SS 1349,” it stated.

The State Department announced sanctions to Zhao, Ni, and the Wuhan Xiaoruizhi Science and Technology Company, Limited (Wuhan XRZ), for their roles in malicious cyber activities targeting US critical infrastructure sectors that present a significant threat to their national security, pursuant to Executive Order 13694.

Moreover, the US Department of Justice (DoJ) also offered a reward of up to $10 million for those providing information on the group and the defendants.

“The US Department of State’s Rewards for Justice program (RFJ) is offering a reward of up to $10 million for information on the group and the defendants. The RFJ program seeks information on any person who, while acting at the direction or under the control of a foreign government, engages in certain malicious cyber activities in violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA),” it stated.

Such activities by these PRC state-sponsored actors have targeted the US defence and government sectors and the intellectual property and trade secrets of US businesses.

Additionally, the “US will continue to disrupt the dangerous and irresponsible actions of these and other state-sponsored cyber actors,” the statement read.

(With ANI inputs)



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