Everyone had to know it was coming and at face value it is not surprising, but the Chinese government, which always seems to be front and center when it comes to cyber espionage accusations, is now saying it is a victim.
The government said two of its military Web sites suffered attacks on average of 144,000 per month and almost 65 percent of those attacks come from the United States, according to a ministry spokesman.
“The Defense Ministry and China Military Online Web sites have faced a serious threat from hacking attacks since they were established, and the number of hacks has risen steadily in recent years,” said ministry spokesman Geng Yansheng in a Reuters report. “According to the IP addresses, the Defense Ministry and China Military Online websites were, in 2012, hacked on average from overseas 144,000 times a month, of which attacks from the U.S. accounted for 62.9 percent,” he said.
The Chinese response, said during a closed meeting and later reported on a ministry Web site, came after U.S. security company Mandiant said a Shanghai-based elite military unit of the People’s Liberation Army was the source behind a number of advanced persistent threats against U.S. government and industries.
On China’s Defense Ministry Web site Thursday, Geng said the United States was boosting its cyberwar policy based on nebulous “U.S. media reports.”
“These practices are not conducive to the joint efforts of the international community to enhance Internet security. We hope the United States will explain and clarify,” he said in a statement.
Geng’s comments come on the heels of other remarks made last week by another Chinese ministry spokesman, Hong Lei, at a news conference. “In 2012, about 73,000 overseas IP addresses controlled more than 14 million computers in China and 32,000 IP addresses remotely controlled 38,000 Chinese websites.” He hinted the bulk of those attacks originated from the United States.