Washington — The Department of Justice unveiled charges against four members of China’s military for allegedly hacking into the credit agency Equifax and stealing the personal information of millions of Americans in 2017.
“This was one of the largest data breaches in history,” Attorney General William Barr said at a press conference on Monday. “The scale of the theft was staggering. As alleged in the indictment, the hackers obtained the names, birth dates and Social Security numbers of nearly 145 million Americans, and the drivers licenses of at least 10 million Americans.”
The four charged are Wu Zhiyong, Wang Qian, Xu Ke and Liu Lei, all of whom are members of the 54th Research Institute, a component of China’s People’s Liberation Army, prosecutors said. A federal grand jury in Atlanta returned the nine-count indictment on charges of computer fraud, economic espionage and wire fraud. The men have not been taken into custody and are wanted by the FBI.