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On Monday, the United States charged five Chinese military officials of hacking into U.S. companies.
Officials say that the hackers were attempting to gain information from companies that consider nuclear energy and solar manufacturing, according to Reuters.
According to the Associated Press, Attorney General Eric Holder said at a news conference, "Success in the international marketplace should be based solely on a company's ability to innovate and compete, not on a sponsor government's ability to spy and steal business secrets.”
Most of the companies were based in Pittsburgh, PA and include Alcoa World Alumina, Westinghouse Electric Co., Allegheny Technologies, U.S. Steel Corp., the United Steelworkers Union, and SolarWorld. They were indicted on charges that include theft and economic espionage.
Chinese officials have countered the argument. China's Foreign Ministry has called the charges "fabricated facts." The charges could also be bad for diplomacy, jeopardizing China-U.S.' "cooperation and mutual trust."
The Obama administration has been dedicated to stopping cyber threats. They have considered cybersecurity firms like Mandiant when considering issues of cyberattacks against companies based in the United States.