Chinese spies hacked aerospace companies for years, Justice Department says

The Ministry of Justice today announced the prosecution of ten prosecutors charged with stealing corporate confidential information for a Chinese spy group hacking an airline company and stealing aircraft technology secrets for several years.

According to this department, intelligence sources and officials in China tried to steal the technology behind a turbofan engine used in commercial aircraft. The plan was aimed at an anonymous French aerospace company that was known to have been in operation from early 2010 to May 2015 and is working with an American company on engines.

Chinese intelligence officials are estimated to have hacked French companies, several states and British aerospace companies. Prosecutors said hackers could use technology such as phear phishing or malware to gain access to confidential information.

Prosecution is the third type of indictment released by the Ministry of Justice since last month. In one case, US intelligence officials blamed other Chinese intelligence officers for stealing aircraft engine secrets, while US military recruiters were accused of working for a Chinese intelligence agency.

In a statement, US lawyer Adam Braiberman said, "State-sponsored hacking is a direct threat to our national security." "This is another example of the criminal effort of the MSS [China’s Ministry of State Security] to promote personal information theft for Chinese commercial interests."

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