The Justice Department has filed criminal charges against several Chinese government officials, accusing them of stealing American trade secrets through cyber espionage, according to U.S. officials familiar with the case.
It’s the first time the United States has brought hacking charges against a state actor.
Details of the charges are to be announced by Attorney General Eric Holder later on Monday.
The charges will name several individuals who are Chinese government employees, according to a U.S. official. “They used military and intelligence facilities to commit cyber espionage against U.S. companies,” the official said.
The names of the targeted companies could not immediately be determined, but they were said to be in the energy and manufacturing sectors.