What’s the Point of Charging Foreign State-Linked Hackers?



May 2019


Tim Maurer and Garrett Hinck


The authors discuss the US’ May 2019 indictment of Chinese nationals: “The May 7 indictment of a Chinese national and unnamed conspirator for hacking and stealing data from nearly 80 million customers of the health care company Anthem in 2015, which researchers previously linked to Chinese state-sponsored actors, is the latest iteration of a four-year U.S. government trend of publicly charging state-backed hackers. The use of criminal charges as an instrument of foreign policy is striking in its recent prominence and in the complex equities it implicates for policymakers.