Skip to main content

Chinese military officials accused of Equifax hack

(Image credit: Image Credit: Balefire / Shutterstock)

The US government has charged four Chinese military officials for being behind the 2017 Equifax cyberattack.

The media are reporting that Wu Zhiyong, Wang Qian, Xu Ke and Liu Lei were charged by the Justice Department for the hack. The organisation is claiming these four are members of the Chinese Liberation Army and that they belong to APT10, a notorious cybercrime group responsible for some of the biggest, most famous hacks.

APT10 is being blamed for cyberattacks against HPE, IBM and NASA.

According to TechCrunch, Attorney general William Barr linked the Equifax breach with those that happened to health insurance giant Anthem, the Marriott Starwood hotel and the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

For FBI deputy director David Bowdich, this was “the largest theft of sensitive personal identifiable information by state-sponsored hackers ever recorded.”

“Today, we hold [the Chinese military] hackers accountable for their criminal actions, and we remind the Chinese government that we have the capability to remove the internet’s cloak of anonymity and find the hackers that nation repeatedly deploys against us,” said Barr.

In September 2017, consumer credit reporting agency Equifax reported a breach, months after it had identified it. Among the leaked details were names, social security numbers, birth dates and addresses of roughly 143 million users.

The company eventually settled with the Federal Trade Commission, agreeing to pay $700 million.