China's answer to accusations of cyber-espionage against the U.S.? The Americans are doing it to us, too.
Barely a week after a report from security firm Mandiant that an arm of the People's Liberation Army was behind the theft of "hundreds of terabytes" of data from U.S. companies, China's Defense Ministry said Thursday that U.S. hackers were penetrating Chinese military websites.
"The Defense Ministry and China Military Online websites have faced a serious threat from hacking attacks since they were established," Defense Ministry spokesman Geng Yansheng is quoted by Reuters news agency as saying at a monthly press conference.
"Like other countries, China faces a serious threat from hacking and is one of the primary victims of hacking in the world," Geng said. "Numbers of attacks have been on the rise in recent years."
Geng said that 144,000 such attacks occurred each month last year and that an analysis of the IP addresses showed that 62.9 percent of them came from the U.S.
"We hope that the U.S. side can explain and clarify this," he said.
According to The Associated Press:
"Geng attacked the Mandiant report ... as 'unprofessional and not in accordance with the facts.' He also criticized the U.S. military's cyber command for impeding international efforts at controlling hacking.
The Mandiant report was widely praised by cybersecurity professionals interviewed by The Associated Press, who said it provided the most detailed picture yet of China's state-sponsored hacking efforts."