The U.S. attorney’s office has charged three Chinese citizens with organizing a global hacking campaign to steal confidential data from more than 100 companies and install malware for mining.
According to a may 2019 indictment released this week, Jiang Lizhi, Qian Chuan, and Fu Qiang conducted their activities for many years while working for the Chinese cybersecurity firm Chengdu 404 Network Technology Co.
Three Chinese citizens are charged with money laundering, conspiracy and identity theft. They also face charges related to computer systems. The U.S. authorities are based on allegations that the hackers used an extensive scheme of cryptogamia and installed malware for mining on the computers of victims.
In the indictment, the Prosecutor’s office says that the executives of Chengdu 404 attacked at least 100 “victimized companies, organizations, and individuals” through a multi-year fraudulent scheme that used “big data” Analytics to achieve maximum effect.
In may 2014, the three defendants ” agreed to organize an extensive network of computer hacks targeting secure computers belonging to hotels, video game developers, technology and telecommunications companies, research universities, non-governmental organizations and other organizations around the world.”
They allegedly stole source code and customer data from companies, carried out “supply chain hacks” to disable victims ‘ computers, infected networks with ransomware, and installed mining malware to increase the net profit of Chengdu 404.
“The main overall goal of the plot was to achieve the commercial success of Chengdu 404 and personal financial gain for the participants of the scheme by hacking protected computers,” the Prosecutor’s office claims.
Jiang, Vice President of the technical direction of Chengdu 404, intended to “get more domains in order to increase computing power” for one of the target companies in Singapore. “Let’s see what the profit will be if we capture a total of about 10,000 devices,” he told an unnamed fourth hacker.
Jiang allegedly advised him to study French and Italian companies as potential targets, saying: “The only thing is that the time difference is a bit troublesome. I’ll have to work at night.” The indictment does not specify which crypto-currencies have tried to get the suspects.
Recall that, according to a recent study, the number of attacks of hidden mining of cryptocurrencies through browsers in the second quarter of this year increased by 163% due to the growth of the cryptocurrency market.