China denies accusations of Pentagon hacking

Posted by Mark Raby

Beijing (China) - China says it has never hacked into sensitive files in the Pentagon computer database, despite a recent report that claims otherwise.

The Financial Times released a report, citing numerous US officials, that said the Chinese People's Liberation Army gained unlawful access to a US Defense Department network.  According to officials quoted in the report, the attackers stole data from the network and caused a regulatory system to shut down.

One unnamed source told the Times that he had a "very high level of confidence...trending towards total certainty" that the Chinese army was behind the attack.  It has also "demonstrated the ability to conduct attacks that disable our system," he said.

China was also the source of a hacking attack into a German government network, according to allegations made by German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

However, China flatly refused both claims.  "The Chinese government has consistently opposed and vigorously attacked according to the law all Internet-wrecking crimes, including hacking," said the country's Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu.

President Bush is scheduled to meet with Chinese president Hu Jintao for the APEC summit later this month, during which this issue is expected to be discussed.