China says US-based hackers attack its military websites

Updated 28 February 2013
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China says US-based hackers attack its military websites

BEIJING: Hackers mainly based in the United States attacked two Chinese military websites including the Defense Ministry page an average of 144,000 times a month last year, the ministry said on Thursday.
China’s first report of attacks on its websites steps up a war of words between the powers, after a US security company said last week that a Chinese military unit was behind a series of hacking attacks on US firms.
“The Defense Ministry and China Military Online websites were hacked from overseas on average 144,000 times a month in 2012,” ministry spokesman Geng Yansheng said on the ministry’s website.
China Military Online is a People’s Liberation Army news website.
Some 62 percent of the attacks came from the United States, he said, adding that the number of hacking assaults on military websites “has risen steadily in recent years.”
He did not specify any entities from which the alleged attacks originated.
A report from US security firm Mandiant said a unit of China’s People’s Liberation Army had stolen hundreds of terabytes of data from at least 141 organizations, mostly based in the United States.
China’s defense ministry had said the report had “no factual basis.”
Geng called on US officials to “explain and clarify” what he said were recent US media reports that Washington would carry out “pre-emptive” cyber attacks and expand its online warfare capabilities.
Such efforts are “not conducive to the joint efforts of the international community to enhance network security,” he said.
Geng also said that while China’s military forces were working hard to push ahead with what he called “informatization,” they still had some distance to go.
“There is still a certain gap between the building up of China’s military informatization and the advanced global military level,” he said. “At present, China’s military has no cyber warfare units.”
Hacking accusations have strained ties between Washington and Beijing, with State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland saying this month that hacking comes up “in virtually every meeting we have with Chinese officials.”
Last month the New York Times and other American media outlets reported they had come under hacking attacks from China, and a US congressional report last year named the country as “the most threatening actor in cyberspace.”
China has called the charges groundless and state media have accused Washington of making China a scapegoat to deflect attention from US economic problems.


Bolton, Mattis meet at Pentagon

U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis (L) talks with National Security Adviser John Bolton. (Reuters)
Updated 26 April 2018
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Bolton, Mattis meet at Pentagon

  • When Mattis first met Bolton at the Pentagon last month, the defense secretary jokingly said: “I’ve heard that you’re absolutely the devil incarnate and I wanted to meet you.”
  • The two men decided to have “regular” meetings

WASHINGTON: US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis met with John Bolton, the new national security adviser to President Donald Trump, at the Pentagon on Wednesday, a spokeswoman said.
The breakfast meeting came amid US media reports that Mattis risks being isolated by Trump’s more bellicose coterie of advisers, including Bolton, an Iraq War-era hawk who has advocated for military action in both Iran and North Korea.
Bolton “was here this morning,” Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White said.
The two men decided to have “regular” meetings, she added, noting that CIA Director Mike Pompeo, Trump’s pick to run the State Department, could join them.
When Mattis first met Bolton at the Pentagon last month, the defense secretary jokingly said: “I’ve heard that you’re absolutely the devil incarnate and I wanted to meet you.”
Mattis, a retired four-star Marine general, is one of a dwindling pool of original Trump picks not to have drawn negative attention from his mercurial boss.
According to multiple reports, after a suspected chemical attack in Syria this month, he successfully pushed Trump to only taking limited action in response, while Bolton wanted a larger operation.
Mattis used to meet regularly with Rex Tillerson, who was fired last month from his position as secretary of state.
Pompeo is seen as being more hawkish than Mattis, further raising the possibility of the Pentagon chief’s influence waning.