“When these cyber-intrusions occur, production slows, plants close, workers get laid off and lose their homes.”
-David Hickton, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania
By Michael Riley, Chris Strohm and Del Quentin Wilber - May 19, 2014
The U.S. dramatically escalated its battle to curb China’s technology theft from American companies by accusing five Chinese military officials of stealing trade secrets, casting the hacker attacks as a direct economic threat.
The indictment effectively accuses China and its government of a vast effort to mine U.S. technology through cyber-espionage, stealing jobs as well as the innovation on which the success of major global companies like United States Steel Corp. (X) and Alcoa Corp. (AA) depends.
While hundreds of U.S. entities have been penetrated by Chinese military hackers since 2002, the Justice Department focused on five companies specializing in solar panels, metals and next-generation nuclear power plants. Four companies are headquartered or have main offices in Western Pennsylvania and officials calculated the toll in human terms.