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Reuters September 16, 2020 0 Comments

The U.S. Justice Department said on Wednesday it has charged five Chinese residents and two Malaysian businessmen in a wide-ranging hacking effort that encompassed targets from videogames to pro-democracy activists.

Federal prosecutors said the Chinese nationals had been charged with hacking more than 100 companies in the United States and abroad, including software development companies, computer manufacturers, telecommunications providers, social media companies, gaming firms, nonprofits, universities, think-tanks as well as foreign governments and politicians and civil society figures in Hong Kong.

U.S. officials stopped short of alleging the hackers were working on behalf of Beijing, but in a statement Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen expressed exasperation with Chinese authorities, saying they were – at the very least – turning a blind eye to cyber-espionage.

“We know the Chinese authorities to be at least as able as the law enforcement authorities here and in likeminded states to enforce laws against computer intrusions,” Rosen said. “But they choose not to.”

He further alleged that one of the Chinese defendants had boasted to a colleague that he was “very close” to China’s Ministry of State Security and would be protected “unless something very big happens.”

“No responsible government knowingly shelters cyber criminals that target victims worldwide in acts of rank theft,” Rosen said.

The Chinese Embassy in Washington did not immediately return an email seeking comment. Beijing has repeatedly denied responsibility for hacking in the face of a mounting pile of indictments from U.S. authorities.

Along with the alleged hackers, U.S. prosecutors also indicted two Malaysian businessmen, Wong Ong Hua, 46, and Ling Yang Ching, 32, who were charged with conspiring with two of the digital spies to profit from computer intrusions targeting videogame companies in the United States, France, Japan, Singapore and South Korea.

The Justice Department said the pair operated through a Malaysian firm called SEA Gamer Mall. Messages left with the company were not immediately returned. Messages sent to email addresses allegedly maintained by the hackers also received no immediate response.

U.S. Assistant Attorney General for National Security John Demers said on Wednesday that the Malaysian defendants were in custody but were likely to fight extradition.

The Justice Department said it has obtained search warrants this month resulting in the seizure of hundreds of accounts, servers, domain names and “dead drop” Web pages used by the alleged hackers to help siphon data from their victims.

The Department said Microsoft Corp had developed measures to block the hackers and that the company’s actions “were a significant part” of the overall U.S. effort to neutralize them. The company acknowledged this in a statement that applauded government officials for “taking action to protect our customers.”

(Reporting by David Shepardson, Susan Heavey, Raphael Satter and Mark Hosenball in Washington; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama, Matthew Lewis and Richard Chang)

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Mets vs. Nationals prediction: Amazins play spoiler to Max Scherzer

Last stop. Last stop. No passengers. No playoffs. No more daily COVID tests for the Mets and Nationals as both teams’ playoff chances came back negative. Appropriately, the disappointing squads will end their season together in DC. Misery loves company.

Rick Porcello (1-6, 5.46 ERA) is trying to end a disastrous transition year on a good note. He limited Hotlanta to one run, three hits over seven innings last week, fanning 10. Pitched well against the Nats this year allowing three runs over 13 innings. Max Scherzer (4-4, 3.67 ERA) is attempting to finish with a winning record for the 11th straight year.

Took a hard-luck loss last week. An unearned run slipped by, and he received zero run support from the Nats bats. Mets season ends in ruins again but again misery loves company and they may ruin Max’s streak. 20 units on the Mets.

New York has two teams in the playoffs. Hyun Jin Ryu tossed seven shutout innings, Vlad Guerrero hit a homer and the Buffalo Blue Jays beat the Yanks 4-1. W takes us to -605 jimmykeys.

Filed under max scherzer ,  new york mets ,  Sports Picks ,  stitches ,  washington nationals ,  9/25/20

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