Feeds

China hits back at Pentagon's cyber spy allegations

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

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

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. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
14 antivirus apps found to have security problems
Vendors just don't care, says researcher, after finding basic boo-boos in security software
'Things' on the Internet-of-things have 25 vulnerabilities apiece
Leaking sprinklers, overheated thermostats and picked locks all online
Only '3% of web servers in top corps' fully fixed after Heartbleed snafu
Just slapping a patched OpenSSL on a machine ain't going to cut it, we're told
How long is too long to wait for a security fix?
Synology finally patches OpenSSL bugs in Trevor's NAS
Secure microkernel that uses maths to be 'bug free' goes open source
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
Israel's Iron Dome missile tech stolen by Chinese hackers
Corporate raiders Comment Crew fingered for attacks
Roll out the welcome mat to hackers and crackers
Security chap pens guide to bug bounty programs that won't fail like Yahoo!'s
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
Researcher sat on critical IE bugs for THREE YEARS
VUPEN waited for Pwn2Own cash while IE's sandbox leaked
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.