A massive cyberattack on Marriott hotels that collected personal information and passport data of about 500 million guests was part of a “Chinese intelligence-gathering effort” waged by hackers suspected of working for China's Ministry of State Security, The New York Times reports. The hackers targeted health insurers, other hotels and the security clearance files of millions of Americans. The discovery of the cyberattack in September is said to have injected a sense of urgency to the Trump administration's planned crackdown on China's trade and cyber policies. According to the Times, the Justice Department is planning to announce indictments against Chinese hackers who worked for the country’s intelligence and military services in incidents unrelated to the Marriott attack. The administration also reportedly plans to declassify information that shows the Chinese were working to “build a database containing names of executives and American government officials with security clearances.” Geng Shuang, a spokesman for the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, told the Times the country “opposes all forms of cyberattack” and denied knowing anything about the Marriott incident.
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