China Calls for Cyberespionage Rules

The country, often accused of cyber spying, says it is frequently a victim of cyberattacks, including many that originate in the U.S.


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In the wake of mounting reports of Chinese cyberattacks on U.S. organizations, China's foreign minister has made a statement calling for rules to govern international cyberespionage. The country continues to assert that it is a victim of many cyberattacks.

David Barboza with The New York Times reported, "China has issued a new call for international 'rules and cooperation' on Internet espionage issues, while insisting that accusations of Chinese government involvement in recent hacking attacks were part of an international smear campaign. The remarks, by Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, were China’s highest-level response yet to intensifying reports that the Chinese military may be engaging in cyberespionage."

PCWorld quoted Yang, who said, "Cyberspace needs not war, but rules and cooperation. We oppose cyberspace becoming a new battlefield, and to using the Internet as a new tool to interfere in another country's internal affairs."

On Sunday, China's Xinhua news outlet ran a story which asserted, "China's Internet security watchdog said Sunday that a growing number of Chinese public institutions and companies have been threatened by cyber attacks from other countries or regions.... A total of 85 websites of public institutions and companies were hacked from September 2012 to February 2013, including government agencies, a provincial examination authority, a property insurance company and a virus research facility in central China, according to the report. It noted that attacks on 39 of those websites were recorded from IPs within the United States. From November 2012 to January 2013, the China National Vulnerability Database also recorded 5,792 hacking attempts from U.S. IP addresses, said the report."

The Atlantic Wire's Adam Clark Estes commented, "It'll be interesting to see if anybody gets on board with China's call for new rules around hacking. Hey, it's not a bad idea. Hacking's becoming a big problem, and everybody knows it. But for China to call for better regulation of cyber attacks these days is a little bit like the school bully calling for a crackdown on bullying. Teachers usually don't listen to the bully in situations like this."

Tags: China, hacking, cyberattack, cyber espionage

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