THE GLORIOUS People's Republic of China has claimed that it was the victim of close to half a million cyber attacks last year, saying that many of them originated overseas.
The announcement by the Beijing government appears to be a direct response to accusations that China was behind thousands of cyber attacks against the US, India and other countries, after security firm McAfee revealed a severe wave of cyber warfare over the past five years.
China claims that it was targeted with trojans designed to access sensitive information and monitor computer usage, raising significant privacy concerns and hinting of a possible large-scale surveillance mission from foreign governments.
The National Computer Network Emergency Response Coordination Centre of China said that 14.7 per cent of the trojans were traced back to US IP addresses, while eight per cent appeared to originate in India, according to the Associated Press. This does not necessarily mean they came from these countries, as proxy software can disguise a person's true IP address, but it's hard not to notice the hint that the US, in particular, might be behind the attacks.
China has come under pressure from many governments and security agencies around the world for multiple cyber attacks. France was targeted in March, with suspicions resting with China, while a confirmed Chinese origin was noted for an attack against Canada, though it's not clear if this was sanctioned by the government or was simply routed through the country. The UK's Ministry of Defence revealed that the UK is under attack daily, with China high on the list of suspects.
After McAfee's report China's government controlled newspaper The People's Daily called accusations that China was behind the attacks "irresponsible" and wrote that McAfee's analysis "does not stand up to scrutiny".
It appears that China wants to distance itself from the negative reputation it has gained as the most likely perpetrator of such cyber crimes. The release of figures of how many times it has been attacked seems designed to highlight how it too has been a victim, and to therefore suggest that it could not be responsible for all of these alleged attacks against other countries. µ