China accuses US of systematic hacking

The Chinese government has accused the US of a torrent of hacking attempts, blaming hackers in the United States for nearly two-thirds of all cyber-terrorism made against the country. The Chinese Department of Defense and the Chinese military have together faced 144,000 hack attempts per month on average, the country's Ministry of Defense said today, with spokesperson Geng Yansheng citing US IP addresses as the telltale giveaway for who was responsible.

Responding to a question about the supposed 61,000-plus strong cyber-terrorism squad China had reportedly gathered together to conduct internet espionage against the US, Canada, UK, France, and other countries, as well as extract trade secrets, Geng argued that China itself was just as much a victim. He claimed that over 1.7m attempts to crack Chinese government sites were observed in 2012 alone, and that attacks from the US accounted for 62.9-percent of the incidents.

Ironically, given the Chinese ministry's apparent reliance today on IP addresses to blame US-based hackers, it's only little more than a week since it dismissed suggestions that such identifiers were foolproof evidence. Back on February 20, a Chinese spokesperson blamed spoofed IP addresses for the country being falsely accused of making its own hack attempts.

According to Geng, the US' pre-emptive plans for cyber-warfare – part of the response to various incidents around newspapers, American companies, and other organizations – "are not conducive to the joint efforts of the international community to enhance network security." The Chinese government supposedly hopes that the US be "made to explain and clarify" its aggressive stance, the spokesman continued.

China has been named as the number one risk for cyber-attacks worldwide by various reports and investigations, with suggestions that both the Chinese military and local companies have been targeting foreign networks in an attempt to extract industrial secrets, among other things. In January 2012, the US government bolstered its Cyber Command division with new teams to go on the offensive when needed in the face of online warfare, as well as to defend essential and corporate systems within the country.

[via ZDNet]