China Denies Hacking US Media Outlets
February 5, 2013

China Denies Hacking Allegations, Says The US Is Also Responsible For Attacks

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online

China´s Communist Party newspaper, The People´s Daily, published a front-page article on Monday strongly rejecting accusations China was behind a series of hacking attacks against prominent US media outlets such as The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post.

The article echoes vehement denials last week by China´s government after The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal linked Beijing to the attacks, and The Washington Post accused Chinese hackers of targeting its website.

The People´s Daily commentary is not currently shown on the paper´s English-language website, but Sky News published an excerpt:

"America keeps labeling China as hackers, simply playing up the rhetoric of the 'China threat' in cyberspace, providing new justification for America's strategy of containing China,” read the article, which appears to be published as an op-ed.

"Even those with little understanding of the Internet know that hacking attacks are transnational and concealable.”

"IP addresses simply do not constitute sufficient evidence to confirm the origins of hackers."

(The full article can be viewed in Mandarin here).

The paper hinted at ulterior US motives of stoking "fear of China” in order to justify policies such as trade protectionism and economic sanctions based on national security grounds.

The article reiterated China´s Communist government's position it is also a victim of cyberattacks, saying there were more attacks from US-based IP addresses on Chinese websites in December than from any other nation.

But "China did not draw simple inferences or hasty conclusions about the attack source,” the commentary read, noting China had been hit with 3,000 attacks from foreign IP addresses during December.

Last week, The New York Times reported that hackers had stolen corporate passwords and accessed the computers of 53 employees following the paper´s report about the family fortune of China's premier Wen Jiabao.

Hackers from China have previously been linked to attacks on major US corporations such as Lockheed Martin, Google and Coca-Cola.

Previous media reports have linked Chinese hackers to the infiltration of computers belonging to the Pentagon and members of Congress.

For their part, China´s defense and foreign ministries staunchly deny any accusations of hacking.

"Cyber-attacks have a transnational and anonymous nature," the defense ministry said last week in a statement to the AFP news agency.

"Under such circumstances accusing the Chinese military of launching attacks through the web without irrefutable proof is unprofessional and baseless."

Separately, reports surfaced on Monday that computer networks at the US Department of Energy´s Washington headquarters were attacked two weeks ago in a sophisticated cyberattack. The attack was described as a major cyber-incident that compromised the personal information of several hundred employees.

The DoE and the FBI are investigating the attack, and believe the hackers may have also had plans to gain future access to classified and other sensitive data, The Washington Free Beacon reported.

“Once the full nature and extent of this incident is known, the Department will implement a full remediation plan," the department said in a statement to CNET.

"The Department is also leading an aggressive effort to reduce the likelihood of these events occurring again.”