We've been telling you for years that state-sponsored hackers, including from Russia and China, have hacked into computer systems all the way up to the White House and President Obama. Even more frightening, Iranian attackers hacked into the country's infrastructure, including a flood-control dam 20 miles north of New York City.
America, it turns out, has had enough. The government is seriously cracking down on state-sponsored hackers, meaning criminals with the deep pockets and know-how to do serious damage.
Recently, the Obama Administration charged a group of Iranian hackers with state-sponsored cybercrimes against that New York Dam, the Bowman Avenue Dam, and nearly 50 U.S. banks. Now, the U.S. has a stern new warning to Chinese hackers.
Stop hacking or you're going to prison. Which is exactly what Chinese businessman Su Bin recently found out.
Bin, who was extradited from Canada to California, will be sentenced in July to up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine for stealing U.S. military secrets, including information about U.S. fighter jets and the C-17 cargo plane.
"This plea sends a strong message that stealing from the United States and our companies has a significant cost," Assistant Attorney General for National Security John P. Carlin told TechNewsNow. "We can and will find criminals and bring them to justice."
Bin pleaded guilty to conspiring to steal military secrets from U.S. government contractors and send them to China, according to the Department of Justice.
Bin's crimes occurred from 2008 to 2014. He worked from the U.S., notably stealing information from Aerospace giant Boeing, and sharing it with two soldiers in China.
Bin translated the information from English to Chinese, and estimated the value of certain files and folders with his co-conspirators. They corresponded by email.
Bin was arrested in Canada in 2014. Last month, he waved his right to fight extradition to the United States. His upcoming sentence of up to five years in prison is considered too light by many people.
However, while Bin has no formal ties to China, the U.S. government sees his arrest as a clear signal to that government. Simply, stop hacking.
What do you think? Is Su Bin's five-year prison sentence too lenient?