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US goes after Chinese military in cyberspying case, alleging US companies targeted

Tuesday - 5/20/2014, 12:10am  ET

WASHINGTON (AP) -- China denies it all. But the U.S. says China's military has been spying on a number of major U.S. companies.

Five Chinese military officers have been charged with hacking into U.S. companies. The Justice Department says China targeted makers of nuclear and solar technology, stealing confidential business information, sensitive trade secrets and internal communications for competitive advantage.

The alleged targets include Alcoa, Westinghouse Electric, Allegheny Technologies, U.S. Steel and SolarWorld, along with the United Steelworkers Union.

The Justice Department says the grand jury indictment should be a national "wake-up call" about cyber intrusions.

SolarWorld has long accused China of unfair trade practices. It says it's troubled by the allegations but no customer information has been breached. Alcoa says it believes no sensitive data has been compromised.

China's Foreign Ministry says the accusations are "fabricated." It's suspending cooperation with the U.S. in a joint cybersecurity working group and warns of further retaliation "as the situation evolves."

%@AP Links

226-w-33-(Sagar Meghani (SAH'-gur meh-GAH'-nee), AP national security correspondent, with Attorney General Eric Holder and U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara)--The U.S. has taken action in a pair of big cyber cases. AP National Security Correspondent Sagar Meghani reports from the Pentagon. (19 May 2014)

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227-c-19-(Sagar Meghani (SAH'-gur meh-GAH'-nee), AP national security correspondent)-"to the U.S."-AP National Security Correspondent Sagar Meghani reports China says the U.S. indictments jeopardize cooperation and mutual trust between the two nations. (19 May 2014)

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235-a-17-(James Lewis, senior fellow, Center for Strategic and International Studies, in AP interview)-"and 200,000 jobs"-CSIS technology and cybersecurity expert James Lewis says cyber espionage has been costly for U.S. companies and workers. ((note length of cut)) (19 May 2014)

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236-a-12-(James Lewis, senior fellow, Center for Strategic and International Studies, in AP interview)-"the public eye"-CSIS technology and cybersecurity expert James Lewis says identifying five Chinese nationals by name and issuing "wanted" posters was a symbolic move by the Justice Department. (19 May 2014)

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234-a-15-(James Lewis, senior fellow, Center for Strategic and International Studies, in AP interview)-"own free will"-CSIS technology and cybersecurity expert James Lewis says the U.S. is telling China it has to live up to its trade commitments. (19 May 2014)

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