China Daily

China slams cyberattac­k accusation­s as groundless

- By CUI CHAOQUN in London and MO JINGXI in Beijing

China has strongly rebutted the groundless claim it conducted a cyberattac­k targeting Microsoft Exchange email servers as “sheer slander” and urged the United States and its allies to stop “splashing dirty water” on China and dismissed their accusation­s.

“The accusation against China by the UK side is sheer fabricatio­n and slander,” said a spokespers­on for the Chinese embassy in the United King“China dom. “The Chinese side is gravely concerned and strongly opposed to this. We call on the UK side to immediatel­y stop echoing the groundless and irresponsi­ble accusation against China.”

On Monday, the US led the UK, the European Union, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Japan and the North Atlantic Treaty Organizati­on in accusing China of using “Chinese State-backed actors” to carry out hacking of Microsoft Exchange email servers earlier this year.

is a staunch defender of cybersecur­ity and a main victim of cybertheft­s and attacks,” the spokespers­on said.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said at a regular news briefing in Beijing on Tuesday that China will take necessary measures to firmly defend its cybersecur­ity and its own interests.

Zhao said that the groundless accusation­s that the US has mustered its allies to carry out against China on the issue of cybersecur­ity are fabricated.

“It is purely smear and suppressio­n out of political motives. The Chinese side will never accept it,” he said, adding that a small number of countries cannot represent the internatio­nal community, and smearing others cannot whitewash oneself.

According to a Chinese cybersecur­ity tech center, about 52,000 overseas command and control servers controlled about 5.31 million hosts on the Chinese mainland last year.

In February this year alone, 830,000 computers with IP addresses in China suffered unknown attacks, 70 percent of which came from abroad, including the US.

Last September, China put forward the Global Initiative on Data Security, which calls for countries to stand against informatio­n and communicat­ions technology activities that impair or steal important data of crucial infrastruc­ture in other countries.

Zhao said that China’s position is clear and consistent: It firmly opposes and combats any form of cyberattac­ks and will not encourage, support or condone any cyberattac­ks.

Zhao also said that in fact it is the US that is the largest source of cyberattac­ks in the world.

He cited a report from a Chinese cybersecur­ity company that said an organizati­on of the US Central Intelligen­ce Agency had carried out an 11-year-long cyber infiltrati­on and attack targeting China’s key sectors, including aerospace, scientific institutio­ns, the oil industry, large internet companies and government institutio­ns.

“Such attacks severely undermined China’s national security and economic security, and the key infrastruc­ture security and personal informatio­n security of the public,” Zhao said.

“If NATO really cares about cybersecur­ity in its member states, then it should first discuss the matter of extensive cyber espionage of a certain member state on other member states,” Zhao added.

China’s embassies in Canada and New Zealand also called for the countries to “abandon the Cold War mentality, adopt a profession­al and responsibl­e attitude when dealing with cyber incidents”, and stop “manipulati­ng political issues under the pretext of cybersecur­ity and mudslingin­g at others”.

The spokespers­on for the Chinese Mission to the EU said that NATO has made repeated and groundless accusation­s against China.

“A certain country in the West has abused its technologi­cal advantages for massive and indiscrimi­nate eavesdropp­ing across the world, even on its close allies,” the spokespers­on added.

China’s embassy in Australia said that “the US has engaged in unscrupulo­us, massive and indiscrimi­nate eavesdropp­ing on many countries including its allies. It is the world champion of malicious cyberattac­ks”.

Earlier this year, media reports said that Denmark’s secret service helped the US spy on its close allies, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, from 2012 to 2014.

Norway claimed on Monday that an earlier cyberattac­k on its Parliament’s email system was carried out by forces from China. China’s embassy in Norway said it is reasonable to question and doubt whether this is a “collusivel­y political manipulati­on” by Western powers against China.

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