China refutes US claims of satellite hacking

Beijing fires back, saying U.S. Commission's report that named China as prime suspect behind hacking attacks on U.S. government satellites "not worth a comment".

China has denied a U.S. Commission's claim that it may be behind a series of previous hacking attacks on the country's environment-monitoring satellites, calling it "untrue" and accusing the commission of "ulterior motives".

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hong Lei said at a news briefing held Monday in Beijing that the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission "has always been viewing China with colored lenses", Reuters reported. "This report is untrue and has ulterior motives. It's not worth a comment," Hong said, reiterating China's stance that it "is also a victim of hacking attacks and will oppose any form of cybercrime including hacking".

Citing the commission's draft report to U.S. Congress, Reuters said at least two U.S. government satellites--used for earth climate and terrain observation--were interfered with four or more times in 2007 and 2008 via a ground station in Norway. The report pointed to China's military as a prime suspect.

The report was published by Bloomberg last Thursday. The U.S. commission did not explicitly accuse China in its report, but said it named Beijing because the hacking techniques used were consistent with Chinese military writings that had advocated disabling an enemy's space systems, particularly ground-based infrastructure such as satellite control facilities.

China last year also refuted any role in cyberattacks against U.S. companies including Google and Yahoo, and had expressed its opposition to cybercrime. Relationships between the two nations have often been strained over Internet censorship and security issues.

Established by the U.S. Congress in October 2000, the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission monitors and investigates the bilateral trade relationship between the U.S. and China, and recommends legislative and administrative actions.


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