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China dismisses hacking charges, accuses US of cyberespionage

BEIJING (AP) – China on Tuesday dismissed an accusation by Washington and its Western allies that Beijing is to blame for a hack into the Microsoft Exchange messaging system and complained that Chinese entities were victims of damaging U.S. cyber attacks.

A spokesperson for the Department of Foreign Affairs has called on Washington to drop charges announced Monday against four Chinese nationals accused of collaborating with the Department of State Security in an attempt to steal trade secrets, technology and information. American disease research.

The announcement that the Biden administration and its European allies are formally accusing Chinese government-linked hackers of ransomware attacks increased pressure on long-standing complaints against Beijing, but did not include any penalties.

“The United States has joined forces with its allies to bring unwarranted accusations against Chinese cybersecurity,” spokesman Zhao Lijian said. “It was made up from scratch and confused good and bad. It is purely libel and suppression with political motives.

“China will never agree to this,” Zhao said, although he gave no indication of possible retaliation.

China is a leader in cyber warfare research with the United States and Russia, but Beijing denies accusations that Chinese hackers are stealing trade secrets and technology. Security experts say the Army and Security Ministry is also sponsoring hackers outside of government.

On Monday, U.S. officials said government-affiliated hackers were targeting U.S. and other victims with claims worth millions of dollars. Officials claimed that hackers associated with the MSS engaged in extortion schemes and theft for their benefit.

Microsoft Corp. blamed Chinese spies for the Microsoft Exchange attack that compromised tens of thousands of computers around the world. British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab on Monday called this a “pattern of reckless but familiar behavior”.

Also on Monday, the Justice Department announced charges against four Chinese nationals who prosecutors say have worked with the MSS to target computers at businesses, universities and government entities. The defendants are accused of targeting trade secrets, scientific technologies and research into infectious diseases.

“China strongly opposes and fights any form of cyberattack, and will not encourage, support or excuse any cyberattack,” Zhao said.

Citing what he called Chinese cybersecurity research, Zhao accused the United States Central Intelligence Agency of carrying out hacking attacks against aerospace research facilities, the oil industry, internet companies and Chinese government agencies over an 11-year period.

These attacks “seriously compromised” national and economic security, Zhao said.

“China once again demands that the United States and its allies end cyber-thefts and attacks against China, stop throwing mud at China on cybersecurity issues, and withdraw the so-called lawsuits.” , did he declare. “China will take the necessary steps to firmly protect cybersecurity and China’s interests. “

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