US charges 5 Chinese citizens in global hacking campaign

International

FILE – In this March 22, 2019 file photo, an American flag flies outside the Department of Justice in Washington. The Justice Department has accused two Chinese hackers of stealing hundreds of millions of dollars of trade secrets from companies across the world and more recently targeting firms developing a vaccine for the coronavirus. Officials expected to discuss the indictment at a news conference Tuesday. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

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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