Chinese Intelligence Officers Indicted for Stealing Data on 145 Million Americans

Remember the Equifax hack from 2017, where someone stole the names, birth dates, and social security numbers for nearly half of all American citizens, before compressing and exporting the data? The U.S. Justice Department just indicted four Chinese intelligence officers for the crimes. These are current government soldiers working on behalf of China.

The four men, Wu Zhiyong, Wang Qian, Xu Ke, and Liu Lei, are members of the People’s Liberation Army’s 54th Research Institute.  The U.S. charged them with three counts of conspiracy to commit computer fraud, conspiracy to commit economic espionage, and conspiracy to commit wire fraud, and several other crimes.

They used a software vulnerability in the dispute portal of Equifax’s website to gain access, then launched more than 9,000 inquiries over several weeks.

Senator Ben Sasse (R., Neb.) released a statement that in part read:

“The Chinese Communist Party will leave no stone unturned in its effort to steal and exploit American data. These indictments are good news, but we’ve got to do more to protect Americans’ data from Chinese Communist Party influence operations.”

Indicting four soldiers is a start, but why stop there? They didn’t do this for their personal benefit. Why not indict the Chinese army or the Chinese government?

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