China denies hacking US media outlets

Official newspaper of China's Communist Party rejects claims attacks on New York Times and Wall Street Journal originated from China, adding the U.S. has ulterior motives in spreading such fears.
Written by Ellyne Phneah, Contributor

The official newspaper of the Communist Party of China has rejected claims the country was involved in hacking U.S. news agencies The New York Times (NYT) and Wall Street Journal (WSJ).

"Even those with little understanding of the Internet know that hacking attacks are trans-national and concealable," said People's Daily on its front page, according to AFP's report Monday. It added the Internet protocol (IP) addresses were not sufficient to confirm the origin of the hackers.

ZDNet tried looking for the report on People's Daily's English Web site, but it was not available online.

The People's Daily refutes claims cyberattacks on U.S. media organizations came from China, and says U.S. has ulterior motives in fanning China security fears.

"Even those with little understanding of the Internet know that hacking attacks are transnational and concealable," the front page of The People's Daily, a Chinese Language newspaper said, AFP reported on Monday. The report could not be found on its English Web site.

The editorial comes after both NYT and WSJ identified China as the source for breaking in to their journalists' and other employees' e-mails. The Washington Post later claimed Chinese hackers were behind the intrusions in 2011.

The U.S. government subsequently said it was considering further action against China after high-level talks with Chinese officials over these cyberattacks failed to bear any positives.

Fanning anti-China sentiments
People's Daily claimed the U.S. was fanning "fear of China" out of self-interest, and that it invoked national security as a justification for trade protectionism and economic sanctions, the AFP reported.

"America keeps labeling China as hackers, simply playing up the rhetoric of the 'China threat' in cyberspace, providing new justification for America's strategy of containing China," the Chinese paper said.

It also reiterated the Chinese government's position that the country is also a victim of hacking, saying there were more attacks from U.S.-based IP addresses on Chinese Web sites in December 2012 than from any other country. In January, there were attacks from 3,000 foreign IP addresses.

Despite this, China did not draw "simple inferences or hasty conclusions" about the source of these attacks, People's Daily said.

One not-for-profit organization in the U.S. on Tuesday called for both governments to adopt more conciliatory stances and work together to solve cybersecurity challenges though. The U.S.-China Business Council said both parties have to learn to cooperate in order to protect the business interests of their companies, since these entities are frequently being targeted by cybercriminals.




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