China state media disputes recent hacking claims as 'irresponsible'

Summary:One of China's main state newspapers calls the recent hacking allegations against Beijing as "irresponsible".

One of China's top state newspapers today dismissed claims that Beijing might have been involved in the recent  cyberattacks, targeting over 70 governments and corporations, discovered last week by anti-virus giant McAfee.

Calling out the claims in the People's Daily, the newspaper run by the ruling Communist Party, said that it was "irresponsible" to suggest China had carried out hacks against worldwide, high-profile targets.

No official response from Beijing was given in the newspaper article, but the People's Daily has been used before to refute similar claims, which were then proven false.

Such affected organisations included the United Nations, the International Olympic Committee, and other high-profile organisations based mostly in North America and Europe

Known as Operation Shady RAT -- "RAT" known as Remote Access Tool -- there are similarities between the recent hacking discovery and the Google hacks last year.

McAfee has not singled out China as the source of the hacks, but has highlighted the work was 'of a nation state'.

Written in today's People's Daily newspaper, it also went on to warn that such allegations could "hurt U.S. business":

"Linking China with Internet hackers is irresponsible. In fact, as hacking attacks against internationally renowned companies or international organizations have increased this year, some Western media have repeatedly described China as 'the black hand behind the scenes."

But if China thinks that the Western world is unfairly pointing fingers, it has hacked before.

Operation Aurora, McAfee's response to the Internet Explorer vulnerability which let hackers access data from Google last year, also affected twenty other companies.

In the leaked Wikileaks diplomatic cables, one suggested that "senior Chinese figures" were behind the hacks at Google, which led to the search giant leaving China altogether.

It was only in June that the U.S. government officials began investigating the intrusion of hundreds of government Gmail accounts, with the Chinese government refuting claims it was involved as "unacceptable".

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Topics: Security, China

About

Zack Whittaker writes for ZDNet, CNET, and CBS News. He is based in New York City.

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