The US government has filed criminal charges against five Chinese military officers, accusing them of spying on American businesses, NBC News and USA Today report. It's the first time the US has leveled such charges against a state actor. The Justice Department is alleging that the officers used military and intelligence resources to swipe huge troves of data from US energy and manufacturing companies, stealing their strategic plans, trade secrets, and intellectual property.
The FBI says it tracked the hackers, who were active from 2006 all the way up until last month, to a single People's Liberation Army building in Shanghai. "Enough is enough," Eric Holder said in a press conference announcing the charges, which he called "a wake-up call." "The alleged hacking appears to have been conducted for no reason other than to advantage state-owned companies and other interests in China, at the expense of businesses here in the United States." The companies allegedly targeted include Alcoa, US Steel, Westinghouse Electric, Solarworld, and Allegheny Technologies.