With Harsh Words, China’s Military Denies It Hacked Equifax

The People’s Liberation Army said U.S. indictments accusing four of its members of stealing information amounted to “legal bullying.”

The New York Times
Date: Feb. 13, 2020
By: Paul Mozur
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An F.B.I. poster listing accusations against four members of the Chinese military.Credit…Federal Bureau of Investigation
An F.B.I. poster listing accusations against four members of the Chinese military.Credit…Federal Bureau of Investigation[/caption]
.SHANGHAI — China’s military on Thursday denied accusations that it hacked Equifax, one of the largest credit reporting companies in the United States.

In a harshly worded release, Wu Qian, a spokesman for China’s Ministry of National Defense, said the American charges against four of its members were “without a basis in fact.”

“This behavior is completely hegemonic and amounts to legal bullying,” Mr. Wu said.

On Monday, American officials issued indictments that accused hackers in China’s military of stealing trade secrets and the personal data of about 145 million Americans in 2017 from Equifax. The Department of Justice suggested that the data theft was part of an organized effort by China’s military and intelligence services to assemble caches of personal information on Americans to better target intelligence officers and other officials.

Hacking has re-emerged as a sore point between Washington and Beijing amid a broader worsening of relations. The two countries reached an interim pact in January that cooled but did not end their trade war. The United States has increasingly stopped Chinese investors from taking stakes in companies in sensitive industries, and it has warned American allies not to use equipment made by Huawei, the Chinese maker of telecommunications gear.
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