By Lucy Perry
Indiana Central News
INDIANAPOLIS – A Chinese national was indicted on large-scale computer hacking charges by a federal grand jury in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana in Indianapolis Tuesday.
The four-count indictment alleges that Fujie Wang (王 福 杰 in Chinese Hanzi), 32, and other members of the hacking group, including another individual charged as John Doe, hacked into U.S.-based computer systems, including Anthem, Inc. and three other U.S. businesses.
Wang and Doe are charged with one count of conspiracy to commit fraud and related activity in relation to computers and identity theft, one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, and two substantive counts of intentional damage to a protected computer.
The series of computer intrusions, including the 2015 data breach of health insurance company, Anthem, affected more than 78 million people.
The case was investigated by the FBI’s Indianapolis Field Office.
Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Josh Minkler for the Southern District of Indiana, Assistant Director Matt Gorham of the FBI’s Cyber Division and Special Agent in Charge Grant Mendenhall of the FBI’s Indianapolis Field office announced the unsealed indictment yesterday.
The case is an example of the importance of cyber investigation in today’s tech savvy world.
“This case is significant not only because it showcases the FBI’s cyber investigative capabilities, but also because it highlights the importance of FBI and private industry relationships,” said Assistant Director Gorham. “Because the victim companies promptly notified the FBI of malicious cyber activity, we were able to successfully investigate and identify the perpetrators of this large-scale, highly sophisticated scheme. The FBI is committed to investigating cyber-attacks that compromise American industry and the American people. As we did in this case, we will work side by side with victim companies to ensure justice is served.”
The international computer hacking scheme allegedly began in 2014.
According to Department of Justice press release, the defendants used sophisticated techniques to hack into the computer networks. Personal information was taken without authorization from Anthem’s computer network that included names, health identification numbers, dates of birth, Social Security numbers, addresses, telephone numbers, email addresses, employment information and income data. They also installed malware and tools on the compromised computer systems to further compromise the computer networks, the press release states.
The defendants allegedly collected files and other information from the compromised computers using software tools, stealing the data of interest by placing it into encrypted archive files -- sending it through multiple computers to destinations in China. The cautious defendants allegedly then deleted the encrypted archive files from the computer networks of the victim businesses.
Senior Counsel William A. Hall, Jr. of the Criminal Division’s Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney and Deputy Chief of the General Crimes Unit , Steven D. DeBrota of the Southern District of Indiana are prosecuting the case. Significant assistance was provided by the Justice Department’s National Security Division and the Criminal Division’s Office of International Affairs.
Charges contained in an indictment are merely allegations, and the defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
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News Writer: Lucy Pery PHONE: 317-527-4141