Chinese military members face charges in Equifax breach impacting Canadians

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The U.S. Justice Department says four members of the Chinese military are facing charges for allegedly breaking into Equifax Inc. systems and stealing data connected with Canadians.

The charges stem from a 2017 breach that saw the personally identifiable information of at least 19,000 Canadians, hundreds of thousands of Britons and 145 million of Americans stolen from the credit monitoring company.

The breach included names, addresses, social insurance and credit card numbers, usernames, passwords and secret question and answer data.

The charges of computer fraud, economic espionage and conspiracy to commit wire fraud are contained in an indictment filed in a court in Atlanta, where Equifax is based.

The indictment says the four Beijing residents and members of the People's Liberation Army used encrypted communication channels and 34 servers located in nearly 20 countries to reduce the likelihood that they would be caught.

The document alleges the men carried out the breach over several weeks and accuses them of also stealing trade secrets from Equifax.