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BEIJING: Hackers mainly based in the US attacked two Chinese military websites including the Defence Ministry page an average of 144,000 times a month last year, the ministry said yesterday.
China’s first report of attacks on its websites steps up a war of words between the powers, after a US security company said last week that a Chinese military unit was behind a series of hacking attacks on US firms.
“The Defence Ministry and China Military Online websites were hacked from overseas on average 144,000 times a month in 2012,” ministry spokesman Geng Yansheng said on the ministry’s website.
China Military Online is a People’s Liberation Army news website.
Some 62 percent of the attacks came from the US, he said, adding that the number of hacking assaults on military websites “has risen steadily in recent years”. He did not specify any entities from which the alleged attacks originated.
A report from US security firm Mandiant said a unit of China’s People’s Liberation Army had stolen hundreds of terabytes of data from at least 141 organisations, mostly based in the United States.
China’s defence ministry had said the report had “no factual basis”.
Geng called on US officials to “explain and clarify” what he said were recent US media reports that Washington would carry out “pre-emptive” cyber attacks and expand its online warfare capabilities.
Such efforts are “not conducive to the joint efforts of the international community to enhance network security”, he said.
Geng also said that while China’s military forces were working hard to push ahead with what he called “informatisation”, they still had some distance to go.
“There is still a certain gap between the building up of China’s military informatisation and the advanced global military level,” he said. “At present, China’s military has no cyber warfare units.” AFP