Chinese intelligence officers conspired with hackers and company insiders to break into private companies' computer systems and steal information on a turbofan engine used in commercial jetliners, according to a U.S. indictment unsealed on Tuesday. The indictment said at the time of the intrusions, a Chinese-state owned aerospace company was working to develop a comparable engine for use in aircraft manufactured in China and in other countries.
The 10 people charged conspired to steal sensitive data "that could be used by Chinese entities to build the same or similar engine without incurring substantial research and development expenses," the indictment released by the U.S. Department of Justice said.
It said more than a dozen companies were targeted, but only Capstone Turbine Corp was identified by name.
Others were listed as a French aerospace manufacturer with an office in Suzhou, China, a United Kingdom aerospace company and a multinational conglomerate that produces commercial and consumer products and aerospace systems.
(With inputs from agencies.)