China's Defense Ministry calls accusations of state-sponsored hacking groundless

China's Defense Ministry points to flaws in claims that the nation's military supports cyberespionage

China's Ministry of National Defense on Wednesday refuted the accusations that the nation's military supports cyberespionage, and said a recent security report backing the claims used scientifically flawed evidence.

The ministry made the statement after U.S. security firm Mandiant released a 74-page report documenting evidence, including IP addresses, that traced a large number of international cyberattacks to what it claims is likely to be a unit of China's People's Liberation Army based in Shanghai. The so-called "Unit 61398" has stolen data, such as intellectual property, from at least 141 companies since 2006, it said.

China's Defense Ministry, however, said in a statement online that Mandiant's claims were groundless. It added that the report made its conclusion by only relying on IP addresses to trace the cyberattacks to China.

"As we all know, hacking attacks occur almost everyday by using stolen IP addresses. This is a common practice and is a matter of common sense," the ministry said. "Secondly, there still is no standard definition for 'cyber attack', and the report's claim that the daily gathering of online information construes as cyber espionage lacks a legal basis."

The ministry further added that cyber attacks are both transnational and occur anonymously, making them hard to pinpoint. "China is one the major victims of cyber attacks," it said. "According to the IP addresses found, a considerable number of the attacks come from the U.S., but we have not blamed the U.S. side for this."

In the past, Chinese authorities have consistently denied supporting cyberattacks, despite mounting reports of sophisticated hacking coming from the nation that has shut down activist sites and allegedly breached systems from companies including Google.

Mandiant's report said it was "highly unlikely" the Chinese government was unaware of the hacking attacks, and was possibly supporting the cyberespionage.

Security expert Jeffrey Carr cast doubt on the conclusions of the Mandiant report. "My problem is that Mandiant refuses to consider what everyone that I know in the Intelligence Community acknowledges -- that there are multiple states engaging in this activity; not just China," he said in a blog post.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags Government use of ITsecuritydata breachgovernmentMandiantmalware

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Michael Kan

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?