5 Chinese military hackers indicted for spying on US companies (UPDATED)

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A U.S. grand jury has issued indictments against members of the Chinese military on charges of spying on U.S. companies.

The charges allege industrial espionage conducted against companies in several industries including nuclear power, metals and solar products. The targeted U.S. companies include Alcoa, US Steel, Westinghouse Electric and Allegheny Technologies, according to reports from Reuters and NBC News.

"This is a case alleging economic espionage by members of the Chinese military and represent the first-ever charges against a state actor for this type of hacking," said U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder.

More details are being released this morning.

UPDATE: The Wall Street Journal reports that the indicted hackers allegedly work for Unit 61398 of the People's Liberation Army, based in Shanghai. The hacks date back at least to 2010 and work on the indictments has covered the past year or more, according to Holder.

The individuals named in the indictment are Wang Dong, Sun Kailiang, Wen Xinyu, Huang Zhenyu, and Gu Chunhui; the charge is 'conspiracy to commit computer fraud and abuse'.

For more:
- Read Reuters' account
- and NBC News' story
- See more details from the WSJ (subscription required)

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