China’s Ministry of Defence reported that nearly two-thirds of the more than 100,000 cyber-attacks a month its military Web sites sustain originate from the United States.
In a post on the ministry’s Web site today, spokesperson Geng Yansheng refrained from directly accusing the U.S. government but said a majority of the IP addresses attributed to the attacks came from the U.S., according to a report from the Wall Street Journal.
The Defence Ministry and China Military Online Web sites each month faced 144,000 “foreign attacks” last year, said Geng. Of those attacks, 62.9 per cent. were traced to Internet Protocol addressed based in the U.S.
He also referred to “U.S. media reports” that the American government is working on a pre-emptive cyber-attack policy and is beefing up is cyber war personnel. Geng did not clarify which media report he was referring to.
It was so far the most detailed response China delivered since Mandiant Corp., a Washington-based Internet threat detection and response firm, released a report linking activities of a cyber spy group to the Chinese military.
The report, released February 19, said cyber espionage activities where emanating from a building in the Pudong New Area in Shanghai which is occupied by the People’s Liberation Army Unit 61398.
Activities of Unit 61398 are considered a state secret but activities of the cyber spy group linked to it by the report date back to 2006. Mandiant said the group breached the networks or stole data of 141 companies in 20 major countries.
Back in 2009, Internet researchers from the Munk Centre for International Studies at the University of Toronto reported they have uncovered a cyber spy network based in China that had infected over 1,295 computers in 103 countries. The cyber spy group dubbed GhosNet, is said to have targeted government and private business networks.
Last year, a Chinese hacking crew was also believed to have launched a cyber attack on the coporate network of Canadian enegry firm Telvent.
China has since then denied involvement in cyber espionage. The government argued that it is difficult to track and determine the real source of an attack and that the Chinese military does not engage in hacking activities.
In his post, Geng did not indicate if the attacks on the Chinese military Web sites also targeted military networks that could contain sensitive information.
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