China has responded to allegations that its military is behind cyberattacks on U.S. corporations by making some allegations of its own. A spokesman blamed the United States for thousands of attacks on Chinese military websites and said U.S. cyberwarfare policies did not further international cyber security.
The China Daily reported, “Chinese military websites were attacked an average 144,000 times a month in 2012 by foreign hackers, with 62.9 percent from the United States, a military spokesman said Thursday.” It added, “The US government’s ‘pre-emptive’ policy against attacks by expanding its cyber war force and setting rules on cyber war, exposed by the American media, will not be constructive in promoting cyber security among the international community, Geng said.”
The Wall Street Journal’s Paul Mozer noted, “It was the most specific statement to date from the Chinese government since Internet security firm Mandiant released a report in February that linked the Chinese military to attacks across the globe, including against U.S. corporations and government agencies. The Chinese allegations illustrate how online attacks are becoming a major irritant to U.S.-China relations.”
The BBC recalled, “Earlier this month a US cyber security firm said a secretive Chinese military unit was behind ‘prolific hacking.’ Mandiant said that Unit 61398 was believed to have ‘systematically stolen hundreds of terabytes of data’ from at least 141 organizations around the world. The White House has said that it has taken its concerns about cyber-theft to the highest levels of China’s government. China denied the allegations, saying it was also the victim of cyber attacks.”
PCMag’s Chloe Albanesius observed, “Report author Mandiant, meanwhile, said in a Wednesday blog post that it has further evidence to support the assertion that the Chinese military is linked to prolific hacker group APT1, pointing to a phone number that links the groups.”