At a glance.
- Chinese intelligence officer convicted of espionage in a US court.
- Russian police briefly hold carder wanted in the US.
- Infrastructure bill passes the US House.
Chinese intelligence officer convicted of espionage.
The US Department of Justice announced the conviction of Yanjun Xu, China’s Deputy Division Director of the Sixth Bureau of the Jiangsu Province Ministry of State Security. Xu, the first Chinese intelligence officer to be extradited to the US for trial, is accused of conspiring and attempting to commit economic espionage and theft of valuable innovation data from leading US aviation tech companies. Xu was not extradited from China, but was taken into custody by Belgian authorities during travel to that country.
Xu tricked industry experts into traveling to China for what they thought was a presentation at a Chinese university. In reality, Xu was attempting to get his hands on trade secrets, including details about GE Aviation’s highly coveted composite aircraft engine fan. Assistant Attorney General Matthew G. Olsen of the Justice Department’s National Security Division explains that the conviction “serves notice that the United States will not sit by as China, or any other nation-state, attempts to steal instead of researching and developing key technology.” Xu’s crimes could result in a maximum of fifteen years in prison for each count and a fine of up to $5 million.
Russian credit card hacker detained in Moscow.
Sergey Pavlovich, a former credit card scammer already charged in the US in 2008 for his crimes, was taken into custody by Russian officials last week. Over a decade ago, Pavlovich spent eight years in prison for his alleged involvement with CarderPlanet.com, a website that sold over 40 million stolen credit and debit card numbers in what was the largest case of credit card fraud of its time. On November 1, Pavlovich was detained for three hours on a warrant issued by Interpol.
Pavlovich told CyberScoop that, in explaining his detainment, the prosecutors alluded to the fact that he was wanted in the US, and says he was only released because of the lack of an extradition agreement between the US and Russia. Pavlovich, who openly discussed the matter on his YouTube channel, says the prosecutors mentioned a future arrest was “possible.” The detainment comes on the heels of reports that the White House’s top adviser for cyber and emerging technologies Anne Neuberger provided Moscow with the names of Russian hackers actively targeting the US, with US officials predicting that arrests would follow.
US approves infrastructure bill with major cybersecurity funding.
CNBC reports that on Friday the US House of Representatives approved a $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill that will put almost $2 billion toward cybersecurity. Though the Senate passed the bill in August, it was held up at the House as Democrats and Republicans negotiated the economic spending package. The Record by Recorded Future reports $1 billion will be invested in developing a new grant program to enhance state, local, tribal, and territorial government cybersecurity efforts, administered over four years by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, with the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) serving as a subject matter expert for allocating the awards.
The bill also incorporates the Cyber Response and Recovery Act, which will give $100 million to support federal response to cyber incidents, allowing the Homeland Security Secretary to declare a significant cyber incident and CISA to oversee the response. National Cyber Director Chris Inglis will also be granted $21 million to establish his new office, previously dependent on a White House contingency budget for its operation. CoinDesk adds that the measure includes a cryptocurrency tax reporting stipulation requiring all brokers to report crypto transactions. Proponents of the controversial requirement pushed for changes to the language in the bill, saying the definition of “broker” was too broad, but it ultimately passed without any modifications.