“Officials said the massive hack by the members of China’s People’s Liberation Army underscored Beijing’s aggressive pattern of stealing private data to improve its intelligence operations and boost the performance of its domestic companies.”
“Chinese spies have ramped up espionage-focused hacking in recent years. Their targets — including the Office of Personnel Management and the health insurance titan Anthem — reflect Beijing’s desire to amass dossiers on Americans, especially those with security clearances, in the hope of compromising them.
The Justice Department charged two Chinese hackers with the Anthem breach, and U.S. officials have privately blamed China for the devastating OPM intrusion. Intelligence officials have also linked Beijing to other major cyberattacks, including the Marriott hack that exposed the personal data of roughly 500 million people.
“At the FBI we’ve been saying for years that China will do anything it can to replace the United States as the world’s leading superpower,” Bowdich said. “This indictment is about more than targeting just an American business. It’s about the brazen theft of sensitive personal information of nearly 150 million Americans.””