The US accuses China of cyber espionage
A US report by the Pentagon has accused China of targeting US government computer software as part of a cyber-spying campaign.
The report states the alleged intrusion was focused on collecting data on US diplomatic, economic and defence sectors. The information taken, the report continues, would enable China to develop its own defence programme.
Furthermore, the report also criticises a “lack of transparency” in China’s military modernisation programme and defence spending.
“In 2012, numerous computer systems around the world, including those owned by the US government, continued to be targeted for intrusions, some of which appear to be attributable directly to the Chinese government and military,” the report from the US Department of Defence stated.
The attacks were focused on “exfiltrating information” that “could potentially be used to benefit China’s defence industry, high technology industries… and military planners,” the report went on to say.
China has long been suspected of being involved in cyber attacks but the US have been careful to not point the finger publicly, or let it be known they have been victims of such attacks. However the issue has come under greater scrutiny recently as a cyber security firm has linked hundreds of breaches of data since 2004 to a Chinese hacking team based in Shanghai.
China refuted claims, calling the report flawed and that it was opposed to cyber-crime. Indeed, a news story from state news agency Xinhua cited Sr Col Wang Xinjun, a People’s Liberation Army (PLA) researcher, describing the US report as “irresponsible and harmful to the mutual trust between the two countries”.