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China: U.S. Cyber-Espionage Accusations 'Unprofessional'

By - Source: Reuters | B 31 comments

This war of words is surprisingly civil.

In the wake of a scathing U.S. intelligence report labeling China the "world's biggest perpetrator" of cyber-theft of industrial and military secrets, China has issued a terse denial of the accusations, calling them "unprofessional and "irresponsible".

China's Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei issued China's official response. "Online attacks are notable for spanning national borders and being anonymous," He said. "Identifying the attackers without carrying out a comprehensive investigation and making inferences about the attackers is both unprofessional and irresponsible. I hope the international community can abandon prejudice and work hard with China to maintain online security"

While no official policy changes have been proposed with regard to U.S./China relations, the report, released November 4th, represents a an escalation in the war of words between China and the U.S. over China's online conduct. The report alleged that both China and Russia are pursuing an official policy of online espionage against US business and government, but reserved special ire for China's alleged efforts. (Allegations, it should be added, not that unreasonable considering China's well known problem as a hub of pirated intellectual property sales.) Though the report acknowledges difficulty in determining the origin of hack attacks, it follows closely after accusations that China may have been behind hacker attacks on U.S. Satellites in 2007 and 2008 and and a major hacking attack against Google that occurred in June.

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  • 14 Hide
    V8VENOM , November 7, 2011 7:24 PM
    First thing our IT folks do is block address ranges from China and many other potentially risky countries that either have NO policy/agency in place to combat hackers and/or actively encourage and support hacking. If your business and/or clients are not in these parts of the world, no need to leave the door open.

    China's denial is pretty funny ... even with IP spoofing it's easy enough to follow data packets going from A to B to C/D/E (aka A again). I'm not sure what's funnier, the Chinese government thinking that data isn't traceable or the US thinking their primitive attempts at hacking are really any threat.


  • 12 Hide
    LuckyDucky7 , November 7, 2011 7:26 PM
    Maybe "irresponsible", but more importantly, are they accurate?
    I'm inclined to say yes, they are.
    You know all those copies of American technology, or stuff that looks very similar?
    You don't get that without breaking into a few networks or taking the design documents otherwise.

    But what gets me about these reports is that the US is just as bad.
    You don't think that the US hacks into and steals Chinese secrets? That the CIA doesn't conduct espionage in cyberspace? That American companies steal industrial secrets from Chinese ones?

    We seem to forget that the US is number one in spying on other countries. They've had lots of practice peeking at the USSR's advancements and knowing exactly what they're up to. And those people who have made that happen haven't retired yet.

    So if you believe for one second that the US doesn't have its hands in Chinese R&D labs and defense contractors, manufacturers, etc., you're sorely mistaken.

    The US can cry all it wants, but the truth of the matter is that they aren't as guiltless as they want you to believe.
Other Comments
  • 14 Hide
    V8VENOM , November 7, 2011 7:24 PM
    First thing our IT folks do is block address ranges from China and many other potentially risky countries that either have NO policy/agency in place to combat hackers and/or actively encourage and support hacking. If your business and/or clients are not in these parts of the world, no need to leave the door open.

    China's denial is pretty funny ... even with IP spoofing it's easy enough to follow data packets going from A to B to C/D/E (aka A again). I'm not sure what's funnier, the Chinese government thinking that data isn't traceable or the US thinking their primitive attempts at hacking are really any threat.


  • Display all 31 comments.
  • 12 Hide
    LuckyDucky7 , November 7, 2011 7:26 PM
    Maybe "irresponsible", but more importantly, are they accurate?
    I'm inclined to say yes, they are.
    You know all those copies of American technology, or stuff that looks very similar?
    You don't get that without breaking into a few networks or taking the design documents otherwise.

    But what gets me about these reports is that the US is just as bad.
    You don't think that the US hacks into and steals Chinese secrets? That the CIA doesn't conduct espionage in cyberspace? That American companies steal industrial secrets from Chinese ones?

    We seem to forget that the US is number one in spying on other countries. They've had lots of practice peeking at the USSR's advancements and knowing exactly what they're up to. And those people who have made that happen haven't retired yet.

    So if you believe for one second that the US doesn't have its hands in Chinese R&D labs and defense contractors, manufacturers, etc., you're sorely mistaken.

    The US can cry all it wants, but the truth of the matter is that they aren't as guiltless as they want you to believe.
  • 8 Hide
    ahnilated , November 7, 2011 7:29 PM
    China has issued a terse denial of the accusations, calling them "unprofessional and "irresponsible".

    Isn't theft unprofessional and irresponsible too? Maybe it is just me...
  • 2 Hide
    igot1forya , November 7, 2011 7:34 PM
    "Identifying the attackers without carrying out a comprehensive investigation and making inferences about the attackers is both unprofessional and irresponsible. I hope the international community can abandon prejudice and work hard with China to maintain online security"

    I wonder if that means that they will allow both private and federal investigators to enter the country unopposed to complete their investigations? No, didn't think so... until then poo will continue to be flung!
  • 6 Hide
    Borisblade7 , November 7, 2011 7:41 PM
    unprofessional? lol, but blatently stealing our technology, and pirating like a madman on crack is very professional. Its like a child molester telling us we are wrong for making him register as a sex offender.
  • -3 Hide
    V8VENOM , November 7, 2011 7:42 PM
    Think about this, US lets them steal our designs/technology because of china's work force which is willing to work for next to nothing (hence their very low standard of living) ... so China continues to provide super cheap products that ultimately benefits the US and helps increase our standard of living. The beauty of this is that China's hacking is really hurting them, not the the US.

    Have you folks visited China, OMG it's so horribly polluted and people wear masks whenever they go anywhere. China is now #1 in CO2 emissions because of their coal based power facilities ... I remember an F1 race where you couldn't see the cars on track (due to pollution/smog) because it was Friday practice the local factories were still operating. If there is a Hell, it's China.

    If this was a "real issue" with the US, they would have stopped the hacking a long time ago ... think about it.

    But it is sorta funny to read the lip service that each side is providing.
  • 2 Hide
    stingstang , November 7, 2011 7:44 PM
    "Identifying the attackers without carrying out a comprehensive investigation and making inferences about the attackers..."

    Well, what the hell are we supposed to do about it? China has our economy by the balls..
  • -4 Hide
    phishy714 , November 7, 2011 7:55 PM
    "China has issued a terse denial of the accusations, calling them "unprofessional and "irresponsible""

    IRONY

  • 5 Hide
    Anonymous , November 7, 2011 8:11 PM
    This is a game of poking, just as mentioned above, the United States has been in the espionage and intelligence game for a while, decades or perhaps even longer. US is spying pretty much everywhere so it's natural that a country with as much power as China has, would be trying or maybe I should say doing, the exact same thing to continue to increase it's power.
    We poke and peek at every country, it was just a matter of time till someone started to do the same thing to us.
  • 0 Hide
    dalethepcman , November 7, 2011 8:24 PM
    stingstang"Identifying the attackers without carrying out a comprehensive investigation and making inferences about the attackers..."Well, what the hell are we supposed to do about it? China has our economy by the balls..


    Actually the only reason China's economy is doing well is because its servicing the American economy. If China were to one day say "pay up."The question would be pay up or what? If America were to just stop importing Chinese goods, China's economy would fall apart.

    Just the foxconn factory for making iphoney's employs 800,000 laborers, imagine those people all get laid off and have no money for food and have to find new houses (because they are fed by and live in the factory) That's almost 1 million pissed off hungry homeless people from a single factory making a single product.
  • -2 Hide
    jojesa , November 7, 2011 8:27 PM
    Ha ha ha...."unprofessional and "irresponsible"...pretty funny when it comes from China.

    If these attacks are traced to computers in China, how do they know if they weren't hijacked by an attacker outside China.
    Even though China has the world’s biggest population of Internet users, they have the worst security and security policies, which make them vulnerable to being taken over and used to hide the source of attacks from elsewhere.
  • 1 Hide
    phate , November 7, 2011 8:27 PM
    unprofessional/irresponsible != untrue
  • -1 Hide
    otacon72 , November 7, 2011 8:44 PM
    Oh please...every so often when I'm bored I go through my router's logs and trace back the IPs every single one ends in China. True some might be hijacked computers but whatever.
  • 0 Hide
    gokanis , November 7, 2011 10:29 PM
    Chinese "President" Hu Jintao to Hong Lei, "Tell them we didn't do it!"
    Hong Lei to America, "We didn't do it! Your actions are "unprofessional" and "irresponsible", snicker, snicker.
    America, "Ummm, yeah, riggghhhtttt."
  • 0 Hide
    LORD_ORION , November 7, 2011 11:02 PM
    otacon72Oh please...every so often when I'm bored I go through my router's logs and trace back the IPs every single one ends in China. True some might be hijacked computers but whatever.


    LoL, holy crap I Haven't done that inawhile... and you're right, the 1st 5 connection refusals in my log right now were from China.
  • 3 Hide
    palladin9479 , November 7, 2011 11:13 PM
    The US has the capability to spy on other countries but what exactly would the US government "steal"? We also have the best military toys so no need for that.

    What people are misunderstanding is that the Chinese government controls their own economy and either owns or is heavily connected to their big companies. In the USA and much of the free world there is a much greater degree of separate between state and free enterprise, that's what makes "free enterprise" "free".

    The Chinese Government has an interest in stealing other countries industrial secrets, it can use those to give it's own companies technology that they didn't have to do research and development on. Many years ago western companies would just send product schematics and production information straight to Chinese factories, we thought making them sign a NDA would suffice to prevent technology transfer. The Chinese owners laughed and signed the documents, produce the product then copied the schematics and details for Chinese use. Thus they would be servicing the western economy while protecting their own economy from foreign competition. Western companies allowed them to get away with that because they all though that eventually they would get access to import their products directly to the Chinese market. Their Government has since proved that it has zero intention of allowed a foreign company to compete with a domestic Chinese company.

    These days most companies have got a clue and now only send the absolutely minimum required information to the Chinese factory's. They leave out as much of the product details as they can making it nearly impossible for a Chinese company to create a functioning copy of the product. The most common left out component is the firmware / software used to run the product. Now Chinese companies have to hack into western companies computer systems in an attempt to steal this code so that they can produce copies of it.

    Combined with this are new US policy's on enforcing the older export regulations for technology transfer. Getting the license to send a piece of US technology to a non-NATO country is harder then before. And employees going to and from China are restricted from what they can carry on their laptops. "Evil Maid" attacks were quite common for high profile businessmen going to and from China.
  • -1 Hide
    ewood , November 7, 2011 11:13 PM
    china = unprofessional

    just regulared it up
  • 0 Hide
    joe nate , November 7, 2011 11:50 PM
    It's irresponsible and unprofessional to state facts? Sounds like censorship. Which is what China loves to do.
  • 0 Hide
    livebriand , November 8, 2011 12:08 AM
    Yawn... China is truly a dick.
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