In response to indictments against five Chinese military officials for cyber espionage activities, China is alleging that over the last two months, the United States compromised more than one million Chinese computers by way of phishing operations, and stole proprietary trade secrets.
“Latest data from the National Computer Network Emergency Response Technical Team Coordination Center of China (NCNERTTCC) showed that from March 19 to May 18, a total of 2,077 Trojan horse networks or botnet servers in the U.S. directly controlled 1.18 million host computers in China,” a Chinese report stated.
The NCNERTTCC said it detected 135 host systems located in the U.S. supporting 563 phishing pages that target Chinese-based websites that have been leveraged in 14,000 phishing operations, and further said they found 2,016 IP addresses in the U.S. that manitained backdoors in 1,754 Chinese websites that have been employed in about 57,000 attacks.
“The U.S. attacks, infiltrates and taps Chinese networks belonging to governments, institutions, enterprises, universities and major communication backbone networks. Those activities target Chinese leaders, ordinary citizens and anyone with a mobile phone. In the meantime, the U.S. repeatedly accuses China of spying and hacking,” the Chinese contend.
The latest spate of finger pointing erupted after the U.S. Department of Justice this week announced the indictment of five Chinese military officials for criminal hacking, economic espionage and other offenses committed from 2006 to 2014 targeting organizations in the nuclear power, metals and solar products industries in the first case ever where criminal charges have been filed against state-actors.
The indictment alleges that the five members of the PLA gained unauthorized access to systems belonging to Westinghouse Electric, Alcoa, Allegheny Technologies Incorporated, U.S. Steel, the United Steelworkers Union and SolarWorld in an effort to steal proprietary intellectual property in order to gain a competitive economic advantage for Chinese firms.
“The U.S. accusation against Chinese personnel is purely ungrounded with ulterior motives,” China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said in a statement. “China is a victim of severe U.S. cyber theft, wiretapping and surveillance activities.”