BEIJING — The Chinese media have been outraged by allegations from the United States of hacking activities by China, lambasting the U.S. for groundless finger-pointing.
The Beijing Daily, a broadsheet newspaper, carried a commentary in its Friday edition which reduced the U.S. accusations of cyber attacks by China as practicing hegemony in the virtual community.
The commentary came after U.S. cyber security firm Mandiant on Monday released a report which alleged that a secret Chinese military unit in Shanghai was behind years of cyber attacks against U.S. companies.
The report was followed by a wave of media criticism of hacking by China. The Obama Administration was reported to be considering possible fines and trade actions against China.
In response, the Beijing Daily commentary argued the U.S. has always played the victim card. In fact, the U.S. is the country where most cyber attacks stem from and the country is responsible for the majority of computer viruses. Using a Chinese slang term, the commentary said such a move is like “a thief yelling for help to catch the thief.”
The paper further questioned the true purpose hidden behind the U.S. media trumpeting the “Chinese hacking threat.” It may allow the U.S. administration greater leeway in carrying out aggressive cyber attacks, and the media fanfare might serve the purpose of wooing parliament’s budget approval and public support, read the commentary.
On Thursday, the Hong Kong-based newspaper Wenweipo expressed similar concerns about the “Chinese hacking threat.” The paper said it aims at whipping up public support for the U.S. government and the military to wage a cyber war, besides the conventional purpose of containing China as the “China threat” rhetoric does.
Ever since cyberspace became a new battle field, the American military has taken the lead to establish cyber headquarters and recruit numerous hackers to carry out computer virus research and development and build a cyber war arsenal, Wenweipo said.
The American cyber security force is still expanding. The paper cited a report in The Washington Post on Jan. 27, which quoted a U.S. defense department official as saying that the U.S. will increase the size of its cyber security force fivefold over the next several years.
The Global Times, a national tabloid, carried an article on Wednesday calling for China to stand up to the U.S. finger-pointing, saying silence will only invite more accusations.
The tabloid argued that there are too few public reports of China being hacked by offshore forces, as many are held only within government authorities.
Besides, it is always a government spokesperson who does the complaining on the Chinese side, while it is an individual company or interested parties that tell their stories of being attacked, which makes the U.S. voices heard louder.
The Global Times appealed to relevant technology authorities of China to refute the American accusations through fact finding research. It also encouraged victims of cyber attacks sourced to U.S. IP addresses to tell the world what has happened to them.
Another Global Times commentary said, “We don’t believe the Chinese military is completely unprepared in a cyber war, but we are convinced that China will never act on the offensive side.”
Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei, at a regular press briefing on Wednesday, said the groundless criticism from the U.S. is “irresponsible and unprofessional, which will not help to solve the problem.”
Editor: Wang Yuanyuan