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U.S. slams China for corporate cyber espionage, indicts two spies
U.S. prosecutors unsealed an indictment on Thursday (December 20) that charged two Chinese nationals with computer hacking attacks on a wide range of American government agencies and corporations including the Navy and the space agency NASA, according to a court filing. The two, identified as Zhu Hua and Zhang Jianguo, worked in China to hack into computers to steal intellectual property and confidential business and technological data, according to the indictment. U.S. authorities said the two worked in association with China's Ministry of State Security. The Justice Department accused China of breaking a 2015 pact to curb cyber espionage for corporate purposes. Britain also said it would hold the Chinese government responsible for the global hacking campaign targeting commercial secrets in Europe, Asia and the United States. The hackers were charged with spying on some of the world's largest companies by hacking into technology firms to which they outsource email, storage and other computing tasks. The timing of the action may further escalate tensions between Washington and Beijing after the arrest of Meng Wanzhou, the chief financial officer of Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei Technologies, in Canada at the request of the United States. The action also comes just weeks after the United States and China agreed to talks aimed at resolving an ongoing trade dispute that threatens global economic growth.