Feeds

China hits back at Pentagon's cyber spy allegations

US needs to "change its mind-set", says PRC

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

China has been forced to strongly deny claims made in a new Pentagon report that it is the world’s number one cyber spy and represents a growing threat to US economic security.

Foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei expressed “firm opposition” to the report and said “China's justified and normal military development" had been unjustly criticised by the US, according to state-run news mouthpiece Xinhua.

The report, issued on Friday, is the latest in a series of US military documents highlighting concerns with China’s long-term military modernisation efforts.

It alleges that the People’s Republic has leveraged “legally and illegally acquired dual-use and military-related technologies to its advantage” and, echoing a Northrop Grumman report out in March, points to “a long history of cooperation between its civilian and military sectors”.

Companies such as Huawei, Datang, and Zhongxing “pose potential challenges in the blurring lines between commercial and government/military-associated entities”, the report continued.

The Pentagon estimated China’s military spending for 2011 could have reached $180bn – a much higher figure than that quoted by Beijing – as efforts continue “to take advantage of what they perceive to be a ‘window of strategic opportunity’ to advance China’s national development during the first two decades of the 21st century".

In one of the most damming excerpts from the report, the Pentagon had the following:

Chinese actors are the world’s most active and persistent perpetrators of economic espionage. Chinese attempts to collect US technological and economic information will continue at a high level and will represent a growing and persistent threat to US economic security. The nature of the cyber threat will evolve with continuing technological advances in the global information environment.

Clearly, US intelligence has advanced to the point now where it can be pretty certain that cyber espionage attacks on its networks have been carried out, if not directly by Chinese military then certainly by “Chinese actors”.

The rhetoric has certainly been stepped up in recent months.

Aside from the Northrop Grumman report - which argued that Chinese commercial tech entities could pose a national security risk, and provide an “advanced source of technology” for the military - a report last month recommended the tightening of certain hi-tech exports to China.

Foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei reportedly argued that the US should be building mutual trust and co-operation and demanded it "respect facts, change its mind-set and stop its wrongdoing in issuing similar reports year after year”.

US officials could be forgiven for thinking the Chinese spokesman was directing those sentiments at his own employers.

After the high profile escape of human rights lawyer Chen Guangcheng last week, parts of the Chinese media argued that the US should stop encouraging Chinese citizens to flee the country - in a similar obstinate stance that ignores the basic rule of cause and effect. However, in a nation where ordinary folk only get to hear one side of every story, both arguments are unfortunately likely to be accepted without question. ®

Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL

More from The Register

next story
Spies would need SUPER POWERS to tap undersea cables
Why mess with armoured 10kV cables when land-based, and legal, snoop tools are easier?
Early result from Scots indyref vote? NAW, Jimmy - it's a SCAM
Anyone claiming to know before tomorrow is telling porkies
TOR users become FBI's No.1 hacking target after legal power grab
Be afeared, me hearties, these scoundrels be spying our signals
Jihadi terrorists DIDN'T encrypt their comms 'cos of Snowden leaks
Intel bods' analysis concludes 'no significant change' after whistle was blown
Home Depot: 56 million bank cards pwned by malware in our tills
That's about 50 per cent bigger than the Target tills mega-hack
Hackers pop Brazil newspaper to root home routers
Step One: try default passwords. Step Two: Repeat Step One until success
China hacked US Army transport orgs TWENTY TIMES in ONE YEAR
FBI et al knew of nine hacks - but didn't tell TRANSCOM
Microsoft to patch ASP.NET mess even if you don't
We know what's good for you, because we made the mess says Redmond
NORKS ban Wi-Fi and satellite internet at embassies
Crackdown on tardy diplomatic sysadmins providing accidental unfiltered internet access
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL
Discussing the vulnerabilities inherent in Wi-Fi networks, and how using TLS/SSL for your entire site will assure security.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.