China rejects accusations of cyber attacks by Australia and allies

China is rejecting accusations it is to blame for a hack of the Microsoft Exchange email system and complaining that Chinese entities are victims of damaging US cyber attacks.

On Monday, Australia joined the United States and other allies by formally blaming Chinese government-linked hackers for ransomware attacks but included no sanctions.

Simultaneously, the US Department of Justice charged four Chinese nationals — three security officials and one contract hacker — with targeting dozens of companies, universities and government agencies in the United States and abroad.

China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said the accusations were “purely a smear and suppression with political motives”.

“The United States ganged up with its allies to make unwarranted accusations against Chinese cybersecurity.

“This was made up out of thin air and confused right and wrong.

Microsoft blamed Chinese spies for the Microsoft Exchange attack in January that compromised tens of thousands of computers around the world.

US authorities said government-affiliated hackers targeted victims with demands for millions of dollars.

Officials alleged contract hackers associated were engaged in extortion schemes and theft for their own profit.

British Foreign Secretary, Dominic Raab, on Monday called that “a reckless but familiar pattern of behaviour”.

It was another claim China hit back at on Tuesday

“China firmly opposes and combats any form of cyber attacks, and will not encourage, support or condone any cyber attacks,” Mr Zhao said.

Citing what he said was Chinese cybersecurity research, Mr Zhao then accused the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) of carrying out hacking attacks on China’s aerospace research facilities, oil industry, internet companies and government agencies over an 11-year period.

“China once again strongly demands that the United States and its allies stop cyber theft and attacks against China, stop throwing mud at China on cybersecurity issues and withdraw the so-called prosecution,” he said.

“China will take necessary measures to firmly safeguard China’s cybersecurity and interests.”


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