U.S. charges Chinese agents in scheme to hack plane engine data

Federal prosecutors on Tuesday unsealed charges against 10 Chinese intelligence officers and other suspects accused of trying to hack the computer systems of U.S. aviation companies in Arizona, Massachusetts, Oregon, and elsewhere.

The scheme allegedly was to steal information on a turbo fan engine used in commercial jetliners.

The 10 people charged sought sensitive information that Chinese firms could use to replicate the engines made by U.S. companies “without incurring substantial research and development expenses,” the indictment said.

At the time of the alleged hacking, a Chinese-state owned aerospace company was trying to develop a similar engine.

The case comes as the Trump administration steps up its complaints against China’s alleged efforts to steal information from U.S. companies, often through hacking.

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