Illinois businesses targeted by Chinese ‘crypto-jacking’ effort

CHICAGO (WLS) — It takes 19 hours to fly from Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia to Chicago. But for “crypto-jackers” in Southeast Asia, stealing data and money from victims in Illinois required only a few seconds and a couple of computer keystrokes.

The ABC7 I-Team has learned that Illinois businesses were among the targets of corporate thievery by hackers who appear linked to Chinese intelligence.

Five Chinese nationals and a pair of Malaysian businessmen were charged in a years-long hacking scheme that U.S. prosecutors say used a worldwide video game-maker as the bait and the cover for the lucrative criminal operation.

The wide-ranging hacking scheme targeted 100 companies in Illinois and other states, including software development firms, computer manufacturers and telecommunications providers, social media companies, gaming firms, charity organizations and universities.

The Illinois victim-corporations are not named and neither is an Indiana university that is referred to as a target of

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