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U.S. expert: Cyberspying charges against China are "a big deal"

Monday, May 19, 2014 - 01:54

May.20 - U.S. officials announce a federal indictment against five Chinese military officers, charges that one expert says is ''a big deal'' in relations between the two countries. Nathan Frandino reports.

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Five Chinese military officers face hacking charges in the U.S.. This is the first time charges have been filed against specific officials of a foreign government. U.S. officials alleged that the five men hacked into American companies for information on nuclear plant design, solar manufacturing and other secrets. U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said enough is enough. (SOUNDBITE) (English) UNITED STATES ATTORNEY GENERAL ERIC HOLDER SAYING: "This Administration will not tolerate actions by any nation that seeks to illegally sabotage American companies and undermine the integrity of fair competition in the operation of the free market. This case should serve as a wake-up call to the seriousness of the ongoing cyberthreat." The officers allegedly belong in People's Liberation Army Unit 61398 -- whose building sits in Shanghai. The unit was also identified last year in a report by a U.S. computer security company. China dismissed that report and has denied these latest charges -- described by the foreign ministry as "made up". (SOUNDBITE) (English) ADAM SEGAL, MAURICE R. GREENBERG SENIOR FELLOW IN CHINA STUDIES, COUNCIL ON FOREIGN RELATIONS, SAYING: "This is a big deal." Adam Segal, a senior fellow in China studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, believes the indictment is a serious escalation in tensions. (SOUNDBITE) (English) ADAM SEGAL, MAURICE R. GREENBERG SENIOR FELLOW IN CHINA STUDIES, COUNCIL ON FOREIGN RELATIONS, SAYING: "The Chinese basically have two responses. One is, 'we're not spying on you. We don't hack you.' And the second one is, in fact, 'You guys are the biggest hacking empire in the world. We've seen through the Snowden revelations that you are constantly hacking into other countries' networks. You are the biggest hypocrites and we are the biggest victims.'" The suspected targets included Alcoa, Alleghany Technologies and several others. U.S. officials declined to estimate the size of the losses to the companies, but said they were "significant."

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U.S. expert: Cyberspying charges against China are "a big deal"

Monday, May 19, 2014 - 01:54