U.S. Indicts Chinese Intelligence Officers for Hacking and Stealing Aerospace Data; Attorney General Announces Initiative to Combat Chinese Economic Espionage

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Saturday, November 17, 2018
Bruce Zagaris

On October 30, 2018, John C. Demers, Assistant Attorney General for National Security, announced that for the third time since September, the National Security Division, with its U.S. Attorney partners, has brought charges against Chinese intelligence officers from the Jiangsu Province Ministry of State Security (“JSSD”), headquartered in Nanjing, a provincial foreign intelligence arm of the People’s Republic of China’s Ministry of State Security (“MSS”).   A grand jury indictment in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California charges that Chinese intelligence officers and people working under their direction, which included hackers and co-opted company insiders, conducted or otherwise enabled repeated intrusions into private companies’ computer systems in the U.S. and abroad for over five years.  The indictment alleges their goal was to steal, among other data, intellectual property and confidential business information, including information concerning a turbofan engine used in commercial airliners.[1]  On November 1, 2018, then Attorney General Jeff Sessions spoke announced a new initiative to combat Chinese economic espionage.