US charges 5 Chinese citizens in global hacking campaign

Politics

The Department of Justice headquarters stands on February 19, 2020 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department has charged five Chinese citizens with hacks targeting more than 100 companies and institutions in the United States and elsewhere, including social media and video game companies as well as universities and telecommunications providers, officials said Wednesday.

The five defendants remain fugitives, but prosecutors say two Malaysian businessmen accused of conspiring with the alleged hackers to profit off the attacks on video game companies were arrested in that country this week and face extradition proceedings.

The indictments announced Wednesday are part of a broader effort by the Trump administration to call out cybercrimes by China.

In July, prosecutors accused hackers of working with the Chinese government to target firms developing vaccines for the coronavirus and stealing hundreds of millions of dollars worth of intellectual property and trade secrets from companies across the world.

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