Chinese Defense Ministry: We Are Not Hacking the US, Mandiant Is Wrong

China says unfounded accusations made in the media undermine the cooperation climate

By on February 20th, 2013 09:41 GMT

The Ministry of National Defense of the People’s Republic of China has once again refuted claims that the country is behind the sophisticated cyberattacks launched against several US organizations.

In a statement published on Tuesday, China’s Department of Defense argued that hacker attacks represented a global problem that affected China just as it did other countries.

“Chinese law forbids hacker attacks that undermine Internet security. The Chinese government has always combated related criminal activities. The Chinese army has never supported any hacker activity. Saying that China’s military is engaged in cyberattacks is not professional, and is inconsistent with the facts,” reads a translation of its statement.

In a second statement, a Defense Ministry spokesperson said that the report in which security firm Mandiant provided evidence of the Chinese Military’s involvement in the recent cyberattacks “is not based on facts.”

Firstly, the ministry highlights that the “theft of IP addresses” is common practice and it’s wrong to accuse someone of cyber crimes based on IP addresses alone.

The ministry also emphasizes that there’s no internationally accepted definition of the term “network attacks.” They accuse Mandiant of “subjectively inducing” that the gathering of online information represents spying.

In addition, China says that it’s highly difficult to pinpoint the source of an attack, and “irresponsibly publishing information” will not solve the issue.

In its statement, the Defense Ministry provides statistics that show that many of the cyberattacks launched against their own systems appear to come from the United States. However, they don’t rush to accuse the US on every occasion they get.

“Every country should have a professional and responsible attitude towards the issue of network security,” the statement said.

Finally, China claims that over the past years, it has cooperated with over 50 countries in investigating cybercrime cases.

“China hopes to solve the problem through normal law enforcement cooperation and consultation. Unilateral public accusations in the media are not only ineffective, but they also undermine the climate of cooperation,” the statement concludes.

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