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.


Taliban kill 6 police in Afghanistan’s southern Ghazni province

Updated 8 min 45 sec ago
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Taliban kill 6 police in Afghanistan’s southern Ghazni province

KABUL: An Afghan official says the Taliban have killed six police in the southern Ghazni province.
Arif Noori, a spokesman for the provincial governor, says another four policemen were wounded in the attack on security posts early Thursday. He says at least seven insurgents were killed in the hours-long gunbattle.
No one immediately claimed the attack.
The Taliban have seized several districts across the country in recent years, and carry out near-daily attacks, mainly targeting security forces. They resumed their attacks after a three-day ceasefire last weekend coinciding with the Muslim Eid Al-Fitr holiday.