Last week a US security firm directly accused the Chinese military of sustained hacking attacks, targeting hundreds of US organisations, in which hundreds of terabytes of data were stolen. Now China has hit back – claiming that two of its military websites were subjected to hundreds of thousands of attacks last year from hackers based in the US.
According to Chinese defence ministry spokesperson Geng Yansheng the country’s Defence Ministry website and the China Military Online news site were attacked an average of 144,000 times per month last year – with 62% of attacks originating in the United States. Mr Yansheng made the claims in a statement on the Defence Ministry’s website, and added that the number of attacks ”has risen steadily in recent years”.
Mr Yansheng stopped short, however, of accusing the US government of being behind the attacks. In fact, he made no mention of any organisation as being behind the sustained hacking attempts.
Last week’s report from US security firm Mandiant made direct claimed that a Unit of the People’s Liberation Army of China has been behind a series of attacks on US businesses and other organisations. They even identified a specific building in Shanghai – owned by the Chinese military – as being the source of the attacks. China’s Defence Ministry has responded to these accusations, saying that they have “no factual basis.”