Chinese army hacked Equifax, stole 145 million Americans’ data

Attorney General William Barr delivers remarks to announce the establishment of the President’s Commission on Law Enforcement and the Administration of Justice, at an event at the Department of Justice Headquarters, Jan. 22, 2020 in Washington.

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Attorney General William Barr delivers remarks to announce the establishment of the President’s Commission on Law Enforcement and the Administration of Justice, at an event at the Department of Justice Headquarters, Jan. 22, 2020 in Washington.

WASHINGTON–Four members of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army have been charged with hacking into the computer systems of the credit reporting agency Equifax. 

A nine-count federal indictment unsealed Monday alleges the suspects stole personal information of 145 million Americans.

The suspects were members of the PLA’s 54th Research Institute, part of the Chinese military.

“It was a deliberate and sweeping intrusion into the private information of the American people,” Attorney General William Barr said.

Last week, FBI Director Christopher Wray sounded an urgent warning about China’s pursuit of U.S. technology and trade secrets, casting the communist power’s campaign of theft as the “greatest long-term threat to our economic vitality.”

The director said the FBI has 1,000 open investigations into suspected Chinese economic espionage and technology theft.

Wray said the Chinese government will use any means necessary to “steal their way up the economic ladder at our expense” by penetrating information technology systems, aerospace, agriculture, defense and research programs, and broad swaths of academia.

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