A report from CNN on March 7, 2008 stated that several young hackers claimed that they had successfully invaded the government Internet network of several countries such as the U.S., Germany, the U.K., and France; in addition, they had obtained important information from a number of departments including the Pentagon.  According to this report, one of the hackers called Xiao Chen claimed his colleague received a cash reward from the Chinese government after succeeding in hacking into the Pentagon.
Three days later, Global Times, a media outlet under Xinhua News Agency, responded to the CNN report with an article titled “Chinese ‘Hackers’ Denounce U.S. Media: ‘Sheer Nonsense.’”  The following is a translation of the article.
“Inside an ordinary-looking residential complex in Zhoushan Island, which is south of Shanghai, several young men in their twenties were seated inside a nearly unfurnished apartment unit, fixing their eyes on the computer monitors while moving the mouse swiftly. Although they do not look harmful, they are the key members of hackers who have invaded into the most sensitive network in the world, including the Pentagon network.”  On March 7, CNN presented an exclusive report, claiming that CNN reporter Vause conducted a face-to-face interview with several young hackers. In its story highlights, the report stated, “the interview site is close to one of China’s navy bases” , as if making a special note for the “Chinese hacker threat.”
A reporter from Global Times talked to one of the interviewees Xiao Chen (online name) over the phone on March 9. According to Xiao Chen, CNN’s report was “sheer nonsense;” he also pleaded to the reporter to help “clarify the situation.”
‘Chinese Hackers’ Admitted They Hacked into the Pentagon Network?
In the CNN report titled “Chinese Hackers: No Site Is Safe,” the main interviewees are a Chinese young man whose online name is Xiao Chen and his two colleagues. Vause described them in the following manner: “The three belong to what some Western experts say is a civilian cyber militia in China, launching attacks on government and private Web sites around the world.”
According to Vause, Xiao Chen and his friends do not want to reveal their true identities. “No Web site is one hundred percent safe. There are Web sites with high-level security, but there is always a weakness,” says Xiao Chen, the leader of this group. He claims two of his colleagues—not the ones with him in the room—hacked into the Pentagon and downloaded information, although he wouldn’t specify what was gleaned.” Vause also stated repeatedly, “CNN has no way to confirm if his claim is true.”
Xiao Chen: ‘Obviously They Are Distorting the Story Purposely!’
With the clues revealed from the two-minute video provided by CNN, the reporter from Global Times located the lead hacker Xiao Chen. He is one of the founders of the website “Hacker World.”
“They are literally distorting the story. It’s all negative stuff, sheer nonsense!” That was the first response from Xiao Chen when he accepted a phone interview with our reporter. He pleaded to the reporter to be sure to help to “clarify the situation.”
According to Xiao Chen, the reporter from CNN had emailed to him back and forth over 20 times. The reporter claimed that he would come up with a positive report for his website and he would only need a 3-minute interview with Xiao Chen. However, the reporter came and stayed for two days. Xiao Chen revealed that during the interview, the CNN reporter asked directly, “Can you quickly show me the data you downloaded from the U.S. Department of Defense?” He also asked, “Isn’t it the Chinese government which gives you funds to attack sensitive overseas websites?”
“I said ‘no’ to all these sensitive questions,” Xiao Chen said. “Our website is simply a sharing platform for hackers. We never teach others to attack other websites; nor have we ourselves attacked any website, including that of the U.S. Department of Defense.”
“I did say not a single computer is safe,” Xiao Chen added, “however, it turned out to be no site is safe in the report. I stated that my colleagues and I established this website together, while the report had it as the government sponsored us. As a matter of fact, we have limited income from online advertisements. We are currently expecting to get funding from venture capital.”
The U.S. Has Played Up the Chinese Hacker Threat Several Times
In recent years, the American media and some U.S. officials have been attacking China with “China’s hackers are dangerous” being one of the main accusations. Especially in the last year, with the American media taking the lead, British and German media also constantly play up the propaganda that “hackers within China’s People’s Liberation Army are a threat to the world.” In the sensational description in Western media, not only the Department of Defense of the United States has been attacked by “Chinese hackers sponsored by the Chinese government,” some cross-national companies, and even some of the physical training associations in the U.K. have been the “target of attacks from China.”
On March 4 this year, the U.S. Department of Defense submitted the 2008 annual report on “China’s Military Force” to the Congress. In this report, China is criticized for hacking into the government websites of other countries. In response to this, the spokesperson of China’s Department of Foreign Affairs Qin Gang replied that this claim is ungrounded. He also said the Chinese government and military would not hire civilian hackers to attack other countries’ government websites.
According to a report released by Symantec, an Internet security company in the U.S., the U.S. is home to hackers making chaos internationally. The number of attacks originated from the U.S. far exceeds other countries. The report also said, among all target countries of these hackers, China is the biggest victim.
 CNN, March 7, 2008
 Xinhua, March 10, 2008
 The original CNN English: “ZHOUSHAN, China (CNN)—They operate from a bare apartment on a Chinese island. They are intelligent 20-somethings who seem harmless. But they are hard-core hackers who claim to have gained access to the world’s most sensitive sites, including the Pentagon.”
 The original CNN English: “The hackers met with CNN on an island near a Chinese naval hub.”