CHINA’S CYBER THEFT
What’s in news?
China has denied involvement in any hacking activities after the U.S. indicted four members of the Chinese military for allegedly breaking into the computer networks of the Equifax credit reporting agency and stealing the personal information of tens of millions of people.
- The accusation is the latest against Chinese suspected of breaching the computer networks of American corporations, including steel manufacturers, a hotel chain and a health insurer.
- It comes as the Trump administration has warned against what it sees as the growing political and economic influence of China, and efforts by Beijing to collect data for financial and intelligence purposes and to steal research and innovation.
- Members of Trump administration have been warning against cybersecurity and surveillance risks posed by China, especially as the tech giant Huawei seeks to become part of new, high-speed 5G wireless networks across the globe.
- The hackers in the 2017 breach stole the personal information of roughly 145 million Americans, collecting names, addresses, Social Security and driver’s license numbers and other data stored in the company’s databases.
- The intrusion damaged the company’s reputation and underscored China’s increasingly aggressive and sophisticated intelligence-gathering methods.
- This theft not only caused significant financial damage to Equifax, but invaded the privacy of many millions of Americans, and imposed substantial costs and burdens on them as they have had to take measures to protect against identity theft.
Key concerns of the issue:
- Experts and officials say the theft represents Beijing’s interest in accumulating as much information about Americans as possible.
- The data could be used by China to target U.S. government officials and ordinary citizens, including possible spies, and to find weaknesses and vulnerabilities that can be exploited — such as for purposes of blackmail.
Data to know:
Cyber theft is a part of cybercrime which means theft carried out by means of computers or the Internet. The most common types of cyber theft include identity theft, password theft, theft of information, internet time thefts etc.
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