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China Denies Cyber Attack Allegations

Geng Yansheng, spokesman for China’s Ministry of Defense, held a press briefing on February 20, 2013. At the briefing, he dismissed Mandiant’s report about cyber attacks emanating from China as groundless. He stated, “Chinese law prohibits any activities that undermine cyber security, including hacker attacks. The Chinese government always and resolutely cracks down on related criminal activities. The Chinese armed forces have never supported any hacking activities.”

Geng said that Mandiant’s report was groundless for several reasons. First its conclusion that the source of cyber attacks came from China was based solely on its discovery that the attacks were linked to IP addresses based in China. It is common that hacking attacks are carried out by using other people’s IP addresses. Second, the world has not developed any clear and consistent definition of cyber attacks and thus the report is without legal basis. Third, cyber attacks are transnational, anonymous, and deceptive; their sources are rather difficult to identify. Releasing irresponsible information will not help solve problems.

Geng further said that China actually is a major victim of cyber attacks. By tracing the IP addresses (of attacks in China), it was found that many of the attacks came from the United States.

Source: Xinhua, February 20, 2013