Millions of Americans caught up in Chinese hacking plot – US

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Millions of Americans’ online accounts have been caught up in a “sinister” Chinese hacking plot that targeted US officials, the justice department and FBI said on Monday.

Seven Chinese nationals have been charged with enacting a widespread “malicious” cyber-attack campaign.

The operation allegedly went on for over a decade.

The justice department said hackers had targeted US and foreign critics of China, businesses, and politicians.

The seven men allegedly sent over 10,000 “malicious emails, impacting thousands of victims, across multiple continents”, in what the justice department called a “prolific global hacking operation” backed by China’s government.

“Today’s announcement exposes China’s continuous and brash efforts to undermine our nation’s cybersecurity and target Americans and our innovation,” FBI Director Christopher Wray said.

“As long as China continues to target the US and our partners, the FBI will continue to send a clear message that cyber espionage will not be tolerated, and we will tirelessly pursue those who threaten our nation’s security and prosperity,” he added.

The charges come after the UK’s government also accused China of being responsible for “malicious cyber campaigns” targeting the country’s Electoral Commission and politicians.

The Chinese embassy in London said it “strongly opposes” the accusations, calling them “completely fabricated and malicious slanders”. As for the allegations made by US prosecutors, the Chinese embassy in Washington DC is yet to respond.

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