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Iran Press TV

China rejects US report blaming it for cyber espionage

Iran Press TV

Wed Feb 20, 2013 9:43AM GMT

China has again denied new US claims accusing Chinese military of launching cyberattacks on major American government agencies and corporations, in turn blaming Washington for sponsoring such attacks against Beijing.

"China is one of the main victims of cyberattacks," said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said in a press conference, insisting that the United States has been the premier source of thousands of remote cyberattacks against nearly 40,000 China-based websites.

Moreover, a Wednesday defense ministry statement reiterated that Chinese army has never supported cyber attacks, adding that the report released on Tuesday by US-based Mandiant Internet security firm 'is not based on facts' and 'lacks technical proof.'

"According to a report published by the China National Computer Network Emergency Center, in 2012, a total of 73,000 overseas IP addresses spreading Trojan viruses and botnets were involved in attacks against over 14 million Chinese computers last year," Hong said.

"Meanwhile," he added, "a total of 32,000 IPs took control remotely of 38,000 websites based in China by installing backdoor programs in those systems."

In its 60-page report, Mandiant claimed that it has tracked "individual members of the most sophisticated of the Chinese hacking groups" to a Shanghai office building housing "PLA Unit 61398" of Chinese military's "cyberwarriors," according to a New York Times report on Tuesday.

The Virginia-based company further claimed that the Chinese hackers have "stolen technology blueprints, manufacturing processes, clinical trial results, pricing documents, negotiation strategies and other proprietary information from more than 100 of its clients" in the US, including the The New York Times.

The daily further quoted officials with knowledge of classified data as saying that a recent classified National Intelligence Estimate "issued as a consensus document for all 16 of the United States intelligence agencies" concludes that many of the Chinese "hacking groups" are run by the country's army officers, raising alarms about the severity of their cyberattacks.

The report, however, confirms that the US government "cyberwarriors" have collaborated with the Israeli regime to disrupt Iran's nuclear energy program by attempting to infect its computer networks with malicious software called Stuxnet. Some European governments, including Germany, were reportedly also involved in the anti-Iran effort.

According to the report, the US government plans "to begin a more aggressive defense against Chinese hacking groups" and intends to tell China's new leaders that the "volume and sophistication" of Chinese-based cyberattacks "have become so intense that they threaten the fundamental relationship between Washington and Beijing."

Meanwhile, Chinese newspaper China Youth Daily denied in a report that the hacking bids against American targets were a military-orchestrated espionage move and insisted that the US military has been the key sponsor of cyberattacks.

"The US military plans network warfare moves frequently; they were the first in the world to set up the Network Warfare Command and have done significant recruitment of hackers to become cyberwarriors and research and develop all kinds of computer viruses," the daily further stated.


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