DOJ issues charges against Chinese military members for Equifax hack

President Donald Trump has recently managed to break through the tension with China to broker a trade deal, but a recent DOJ decision could reintroduce a good deal of tension back into the relationship.

On Monday, the Attorney General Bill Barr announced indictments against four Chinese military members for the 2017 Equifax hack that exposed the information of more than 145 million Americans.

Massive data breach

The data breach referenced is one of the largest in history and it shook the confidence of every American. These databases were supposed to be immune to hacking, but clearly, that was not the case.

The individuals charged in the indictment were Wu Zhiyong, Wang Qian, Xu Ke, and Liu Le, all members of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA).

Barr, on Monday, stated, “This was a deliberate and sweeping intrusion into the private information of the American people.”

“Today, we hold PLA hackers accountable for their criminal actions, and we remind the Chinese government that we have the capability to remove the Internet’s cloak of anonymity and find the hackers that nation repeatedly deploys against us.

Barr went on to call it a “brazen criminal heist” as well as an effort to steal proprietary information.

The indictment held charges for conspiracy to commit wire fraud, conspiracy to commit economic espionage, and conspiracy to commit computer fraud.

Charges such as this would not normally be filed against either military or intelligence officials of a foreign government, but Barr felt the nature of the crime was so blatant that the charges were necessary.

Moving forward

This breach was one of several that happened in recent years, truly shaking Americans’ confidence in both credit card companies and monitoring agencies to keep personal information protected.

Along with Equifax, numerous major department stores and credit card companies have announced breaches in recent years, which is more than likely why the majority of the victims in this case chose to accept a cash settlement rather than the free credit monitoring option offered.

The FBI further noted that this is far from the end of this investigation, as it will be an ongoing process to ensure our information is protected and those trying to shake the “confidence of global citizenry” are brought to justice.

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