Source: United States House of Representatives – Congressman Dan Newhouse (4th District of Washington)
Headline: Newhouse Condemns Cyber Attacks by Chinese Nationals
Cyber crimes discovered on computers at the Hanford Site lead to indictment of two state-sponsored hackers
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Rep. Newhouse (R-WA) released the following statement after the Department of Justice announced the indictment of two hackers, both nationals and residents of the People’s Republic of China (China):
“This attack is yet another example of the Chinese Communist Party deliberately targeting U.S. intelligence and technology,” said Rep. Newhouse. “These malicious cyber attacks, discovered on Department of Energy computers at the Hanford Site in Central Washington, threaten the security of our nation, the private information of our citizens, businesses, and agencies; and our world-class scientific research and development.
“We must continue to take a strong stance against China’s state-sponsored illegal activities and retain our status as global leaders who abide by and enforce the rule of law,” Rep. Newhouse continued. “As a Member of the House Appropriations Subcommittees on Homeland Security and Energy & Water, I have pushed for increased funding for federal cybersecurity programs and will continue to ensure our nation’s security agencies are equipped with the tools needed to combat China’s aggressions. I applaud the FBI, the Department of Justice, and Eastern Washington U.S. Attorney Hyslop for acting to bring these cyber criminals to justice.”
The 11-count indictment alleges LI Xiayou and DONG Jiazhi, who were trained in computer applications technologies at the same Chinese university, conducted a hacking campaign lasting more than ten years to the present, targeting companies in countries with high technology industries, including the United States, Australia, Belgium, Germany, Japan, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Spain, South Korea, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.
Targeted industries included, among others, high tech manufacturing; medical device, civil, and industrial engineering; business, educational, and gaming software; solar energy; pharmaceuticals; defense. In at least one instance, the hackers sought to extort cryptocurrency from a victim entity by threatening to release the victim’s stolen source code on the Internet. More recently, the defendants probed for vulnerabilities in computer networks of companies developing COVID-19 vaccines, testing technology, and treatments.
“The cybercrime hacking occurring here was first discovered on computers of the Department of Energy’s Hanford Site in Eastern Washington. As the grand jury charged, the computer systems of many businesses, individuals and agencies throughout the United States and worldwide have been hacked and compromised with a huge array of sensitive and valuable trade secrets, technologies, data, and personal information being stolen. The hackers operated from China both for their own gain and with the assistance and for the benefit of the Chinese government’s Ministry of State Security. This prosecution is occurring as a result of the combined unwavering efforts of the National Security Division of the Department of Justice, the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Washington, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. We seek justice for these victims and others affected and we intend to prosecute these defendants for their alleged crimes,” said U.S. Attorney William D. Hyslop for the District Eastern District of Washington.
Click here to read the Department of Justice’s announcement in full.
In March of 2019, Rep. Newhouse introduced H.R. 1975, the Cybersecurity Advisory Committee Authorization Act of 2019, which requires the Department of Homeland Security to establish a cybersecurity advisory committee within the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) to consult on the development, refinement, and implementation of policies, programs, and security directives pertinent to the mission of CISA. The legislation was recently included in the Fiscal Year 2021 Homeland Security appropriations bill.