The Justice Department has sent the private sector a sobering message. Members of the Chinese military have been phishing and catching commercial info that can be used against U.S. companies.
"We allege that members of [Chinese military] unit 61398 conspired to hack into computers of six U.S. victims to steal information that would provide an economic advantage to the victims’ competitors, including Chinese state-owned enterprises," the Justice Department said in indicting five Chinese military members with cyber espionage, economic espionage.
The targets were six U.S. companies, including Westinghouse.
"State actors engaged in cyber espionage for economic advantage are not immune from the law just because they hack under the shadow of their country’s flag,” said John Carlin, assistant attorney general for national security in a statement. “Cyber theft is real theft and we will hold state sponsored cyber thieves accountable as we would any other transnational criminal organization that steals our goods and breaks our laws.”