China hits back at US hackers

Posted by Emma Woollacott

China's Defense Ministry has accused the US of repeated cyberattacks on its website, along with a People's Liberation Army news site.

It says the Defense Ministry and China Military Online sites were hit by over 100,000 hacking attacks each month last year, with nearly two thirds originating in the US.

In a statement on the Defense Ministry website, spokesman Geng Yansheng says that the two websites have been under attack for years, with the number steadily increasing.

"According to the IP address of the display, the Chinese Ministry of National Defense and military networks in 2012 a monthly average of 144,000 suffered attacks from the outside. Attack from the United States accounted for 62.9 percent," it reads.

The accusation comes in response to repeated reports identifying China as the source of cyberattacks in the US. Just last week, security form Mandiant went so far as to identify the particular military unit it said was responsible for attacks on more than 140 organizations.

China, though, has denied any involvement, with Geng saying the report is "neither professional nor fits the facts". He added that the Chinese government and army have never engaged in hacking.

Geng also says he's concerned about US plans to increase its cyberwarfare capabilities.

"We note that the US media recently reported that the United States will adopt the policy of 'pre-emptive' cyber attacks, large-scale expansion of network warfare units, and the development of network rules of engagement," he says.

"The above practices are not conducive to the joint efforts of the international community to enhance network security. We hope that the United States will explain and clarify."