16:06 GMT05 April 2020
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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - A federal grand jury in Indianapolis, Indiana, has issued an indictment against a China-supported hacking group over an alleged data breach that affected more than 78 million people, the US Department of Justice said in a press release.

    "The four-count indictment alleges that Fujie Wang, 32, and other members of the hacking group… conducted a campaign of intrusions into US-based computer systems", the release said on Thursday. "The indictment alleges… the defendants gained entry to the computer systems of Anthem and three other US businesses".

    The defendants stole data concerning on 78 million persons from Anthem’s computer network, including names, health identification numbers, dates of birth, Social Security numbers, addresses, telephone numbers, email addresses, employment information and income data, the indictment said.

    READ MORE: Huawei Meng's Defence Says No Legal Basis for CFO Extradition to US — Reports

    "The allegations in the indictment unsealed today outline the activities of a brazen China-based computer hacking group that committed one of the worst data breaches in history", said Assistant Attorney General Brian Benczkowski said, according to the release.

    The defendants used extremely sophisticated techniques to hack into the computer networks of the victim businesses including the sending of specially-tailored "spearfishing" emails with embedded hyperlinks to employees of the victim businesses, the indictment said.

    The news comes amid tense relations between Washington and Beijing. Apart from the ongoing trade dispute between the two countries, the United States has also voiced security concerns over China's high-tech giants Huawei and ZTE telecommunications corporations. Huawei seeks to participate in the development of 5G Internet networks abroad, however, Washington has pointed to the alleged ties between the Huawei CEO and the Chinese government, and claimed that the company might use its technology for spying, something the company categorically denies.

    READ MORE: UK Launches Inquiry Into Disclosure of Secret Talks About Huawei 5G − Reports


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    data breach, indictment, hackers, Justice Department, China, United States
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