In China’s Push For High-Tech, Hackers Target Cutting-Edge U.S. Firms

December 28, 20183:51 PM ET
By: Greg Myre

A Justice Department poster shows two Chinese citizens suspected of carrying out an extensive hacking campaign directed at dozens of U.S. tech companies. U.S. law enforcement says such cases are on the rise as China seeks to become a world leader in advanced technologies by 2025.
Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP

To understand China’s espionage goals, U.S. officials say, just look at the ambitious aims the country set out in the plan “Made in China 2025.”

By that date, China wants to be a world leader in artificial intelligence, computing power, military technology, as well as energy and transportation systems. And that’s just a partial list.

“It’s guidance to the rest of government and the rest of their companies and to their people, that this is what we want to be the best in class at, and therefore you should organize your activities, whether they’re legal or illegal, to achieve that,” John Demers, assistant attorney general for the the National Security Division at the Justice Department, said in recent testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

He said the recent legal cases against China show the country is aggressively trying to steal technology directly related to its stated goals.

Justice Department Charges Chinese Hackers In Bid To Curtail Cyber-Theft
“We don’t begrudge them their efforts to develop technologically, but you cannot use theft as a means to develop yourself technologically, and that’s what they’re doing in a number of areas,” said Demers.

This battle has been been going on for years and is heating up again, according to U.S. officials and analysts. It’s playing out across a broad landscape that involves most every tech industry.    [FULL  STORY]