back to article Bad: US govt says Chinese duo hacked, stole blueprints from just about everyone. Also bad: They extorted cash

On Tuesday, the US Department of Justice charged two Chinese nationals with allegedly hacking hundreds of organizations and individuals in America and elsewhere to steal confidential corporate secrets on behalf of Beijing for more than a decade. The pilfered files are said to be worth hundreds of millions of dollars, and in …

  1. Will Godfrey Silver badge
    Facepalm

    So let's get this straight

    Two individuals have been attacking world plus dog for 11 years, and have only just been discovered. If that's true, then it's either an incredible feat, or a woeful commentary on world plus dog... or both!

    1. Richard Boyce

      Re: So let's get this straight

      Their MO may date back 11 years, but identifying the culprits with high confidence takes time. Plus, since this is part of the world of espionage, the US may not want it known how and when they were identified. There are also probably political issues that have influenced the timing of these procedures.

      1. herman Silver badge

        Re: So let's get this straight

        "There are also probably political issues that have influenced the timing of these procedures." - Hmm, like closing one of their minor consulates.

    2. Blazde

      Re: So let's get this straight

      It's only been US strategy the last ~3 years to significantly resource unmasking China's cyberwarriors. Since there's no direct criminal justice benefit there's lots of speculation why. Obviously IP theft is a key part of the US-China trade war in recent years and that may not be unrelated, ie. part of a wider diplomatic effort to expose China's actions. Whatever the reasons now, the strategy was - for better or worse - different 11 years ago.

    3. Mahhn

      Re: So let's get this straight

      Just these two were local so they could arrest them. Chinese state run ATP groups are reported on the Reg and many other IT news sites regularly. Hacking the world for fun, profit, and the power of the PRC.

      https://www.theregister.com/2020/03/26/fireeye_apt41_chinese_hackers_zoho_citrix_cisco/

      https://www.zdnet.com/article/report-chinese-hacking-group-apt40-hides-behind-network-of-front-companies/

      https://www.theregister.com/2014/10/21/bakers_dozen_of_apt_groups_popping_aussie_biz/

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Yes IP theft is a real problem. I wish the US would stop doing it, they've been at it the whole time they have existed.

    1. Mark Exclamation

      You are Xi Jinping, and I claim my $5.

      1. Peter2 Silver badge

        No, he's got a fair point. The USA in it's early years didn't recognise patents from other countries, and got big by reverse engineering competitors technology and then producing unlicensed copies and derivatives.

        Just in things owned directly by the US government then the Springfield Musket was a direct copy of the French Charville musket, and Mauser forced the US government into paying royalties for copying their bolt action being a direct copy of Mausers, and the bullet design also being a direct copy.

        Of course, now other countries are doing it to the USA then it's a problem.

        1. keith_w Bronze badge

          They also didn't recognize other countries copyrights, which lead Gilbert and Sullivan to start performing their operettas in the US first, to establish US copyright so other US producers couldn't steal them.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      The 50c party alive, well and on the Reg ?

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Chinese duo hacked, stole blueprints

    Expect a lot more intellectual property theft once encryption is outlawed/broken with the EARN IT ACT.

    Besides, these companies that were hacked should have nothing to worry about if they've done nothing wrong.

    Wont somebody think about the blueprints?

    (This comment posted from my backdoored Android phone provided through the government assistance LifeLine program)

    https://www.wuffs.org/blog/digitime-tech-fota-backdoors

  4. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    Another One for the Mad Comic ......

    "China’s anti-competitive behavior and flagrant disregard for their promises not to engage in cyber-enabled intellectual property theft is not just a domestic issue; it is a global issue," said Demers.

    I call fake news on that promise ever being made by any country, Assistant Attorney General John Demers. Whoever told you such nonsense and what is wrong with you .... to believe it?

    Memo to the US Department of Justice and the rest of the world ....... Engaging cyber-enabled intellectual property theft is a novel global norm which fortunately doesn't suffer from fools who be blunt tools in its rank which is surely unfortunate for those loaded with only those sub-prime negative assets.

    The short version, in two syllables or less .... Shit happens .... get used to it.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Another One for the Mad Comic ......

      Did you miss the story? It was very public.

      https://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2015/09/25/president-obama-chinese-president-xi-jingping-announce-agreement-to-stop-hacking

      I will give you that nobody in the security world read that story and said "oh no, we are all unemployed now!"

      I find it quite interesting that China's path to number one world power is achieved by emulating the MO of the USA in every aspect. I expect that rubs....

      1. Chris G Silver badge

        Re: Another One for the Mad Comic ......

        I assume from your link that prior to 2015 any hacking and IP theft was ok then?

        I find it difficult to believe that any country or organisation who has or can source the wherewithal to engage in IP appropriation and industrial espionage is not not at least strongly tempted to have a go.

        After all, with modern methods compared to the past it is a relatively cheap way to find out what your competitors are up to.

      2. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

        Re: Another One for the Mad Comic ...... Doing IT just for Fun and the Political Kicks/Kickbacks

        Did you miss the story? It was very public.

        https://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2015/09/25/president-obama-chinese-president-xi-jingping-announce-agreement-to-stop-hacking

        Yes, AC, I must have missed it. Thanks for the correction, but it is hard to believe it is ever likely to be intended to be accepted as true whenever reported in response to ..... Obama said the U.S. government does not conduct such espionage for commercial gain,

  5. mhenriday
    Big Brother

    Thief crying stop thief -

    Nothing new here....

    Henri

    1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

      Re: Thief crying stop thief -

      When one has something worth stealing, opportunities abound both literally and metaphysically from practically and virtually nowhere, mhenriday.

      As you may imagine, life then is more than just interesting and exciting. However, if one can buy it for a great market price with nothing more than a fair share of all of those billions/trillions/gazillions of pretty fiat paper bills being endlessly generated, temporary ownership delivers one leading positions in the assets captivated and captured for further exploitation and product enrichment ....... exceptional growth at incredible speeds/fantastic rates.

      Thus for an Almighty Improvement in Secured Assets Performance.

  6. x 7

    Students.............

    Its time to understand that the plethora of Chinese students that our universities are so worried about losing the cash from, are all potential or actual sleeper agents.

    They come here as undergrads, then stay either as postgrad researchers, or working in high-tech industry. With the numbers involved even if only 1% progress to becoming industrial spies the Chinese will have managed to steal a considerable volume of research.

    Time to send them all home. We can't run the risk of Chinese nationals in our key industries

    1. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse Silver badge

      Re: Students.............

      You are probably wrong. But on the slight off chance that you are not, can we keep the ones that work in the takeaways?

      1. x 7

        Re: Students.............

        And the massage girls............

        1. Lunatic Looking For Asylum
          Paris Hilton

          Re: Students.............

          Sorry, Massage girls are first to go - they're the honey traps for the try spymasters...

          1. seven of five Silver badge

            Re: Students.............

            Yep, they are. Got me on Thursday, Friday and twice on Saturday....

    2. Pascal

      Re: Students.............

      That's old school, long term, really hard espionnage.

      Why would you still bother with that, in this day and age where everything is just hooked to the internet and generally unpatched, or when you can just bribe/social engineer anything out of anywhere.

      1. x 7

        Re: Students.............

        May be long term, but a lot of research projects are long term and you'll get better espionage results from someone actually embedded in that research team. They get to live and learn the project and can replicate it when they return home.

        Stealing the data is one thing, stealing the staff from the project is something better

  7. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    One thing is for sure

    All these reveals of Chinese nationals stealing trade secrets is not going to make it any easier for the honest Chinese (there are some) to find work.

    Because as it stands now, if I had a company with valuable IP, I would not want a Chinese employee anywhere near that IP.

    Of course, I'm not extending that ban to someone of Chinese ancestry born in the country. It's just a Chinese national that I would be wary of.

    1. Will Godfrey Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: One thing is for sure

      Sleepers (of any kind) don't only sit under railway lines.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    History has this down

    China is and has been at war with the world for longer than most countries have existed, they don't hide it, it is a cultural thing.

    I think it was 40 years ago a plan for the world was to take it over financially, I don't recall the statement or I would link to it. Its not a secret.

    The last 30 years of lead lined products, poisoned foods (even pet food), digital and medical virus development should be a tip, but politicians are afraid to call it out.

    The build up of weapons and boarder expansion has only been accelerating, and is very public.

    I hate it, I fear for our children that war is coming that will dwarf WW2 in the next 5 to 10 years.

    1. Richard Boyce

      Re: History has this down

      Poor choice of forum. Try peddling this on Facebook.

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