People’s Liberation Army officers targeted U.S. makers of nuclear and solar technology, stealing confidential business information, sensitive trade secrets and internal communications. The targets were Alcoa World Alumina, Westinghouse Electric Co., Allegheny Technologies, U.S. Steel Corp., the United Steelworkers Union and SolarWorld, said in the charge papers of five China’s PLA workers.
“The range of trade secrets and other sensitive business information stolen in this case is significant and demands an aggressive response,” said US attorney general Eric Holder.
“The alleged hacking appears to have been conducted for no reason other than to advantage state-owned companies and other interests in China at the expense of businesses here in the United States,” Holder iterated.
Chinese PLA workers who are under Unit 61398, a cyber-intelligence-gathering unit of China, are not in US custody. However, this charges will stand as a wake up call for countries doing economic espionage and hacking against US companies.
“The U.S. accusation against Chinese personnel is purely ungrounded and absurd,” Xinhua, a Chinese news agency said. “The United States, by this action, betrays its commitment to building healthy, stable, reliable military-to-military relations and causes serious damage to mutual trust.”