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Washington, D.C.- Today, the Justice Department charged two hackers from the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) intelligence agency for targeting COVID-19 research. According to the 11-count indictment by the Justice Department, these hackers “have conducted a hacking campaign lasting more than ten years to the present” in countries around the world, including the United States, Germany, South Korea, and the United Kingdom. They have targeted a variety of industries including medical devices, pharmaceuticals and high tech manufacturing, in addition to companies developing COVID testing and treatments.

Today’s move by the U.S. Department of Justice sends a powerful message to those who are intent on exploiting this pandemic: We will identify you and we will prosecute you. After allowing this virus to spread and turn into a pandemic that has killed hundreds of thousands of people around the world, the Chinese Communist Party is now shamefully attempting to steal our research aimed at fighting the virus. The CCP has been hacking U.S. companies and the U.S. government for years in what FBI Director Wray has called ‘one of the largest transfers of wealth in human history.’ Today, we made it clear these actions will not be tolerated.”

While this is the first time the U.S. has leveled charges against the CCP for attempting to steal COVID-19 related information, it is not the first time the government has charged CCP hackers. In addition, the DOJ has previously charged Iranian hackers and Russian hackers.