China denies snooping on networks in India, Southeast Asia

China today dismissed a report that a group allegedly sponsored by it spied on inaccessible computer networks in India and Southeast Asia for over a decade…

Cyber crime
US online brokerage firm Scottrade said today it was notifying some 4.6 million customers about a hack into its database which could have leaked private information. (Reuters)

China today dismissed a report that a group allegedly sponsored by it spied on inaccessible computer networks in India and Southeast Asia for over a decade, saying it “firmly bans” all forms of hacker attacks.

“I want to stress that the Chinese government firmly bans and cracks down on all forms of hacker attacks,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman, Hong Lei said, commenting on a report by a cyber security group FireEye that hackers allegedly spied on governments and business in India and Southeast Asia.

“Hacker attack is a problem faced by the international community. The international community should cooperate with it instead of making speculation and accusations against each other,” he said.

Singapore-based FireEye in its report released today said the cyber espionage operations dating back to 2005 “focused on targets – government and commercial – who hold key political, economic and military information about the region.”

“Such a sustained, planned development effort coupled with the (hacking) group’s regional targets and mission, lead us to believe that this activity is state-sponsored – most likely the Chinese government,” the cyber security group claimed.

“The attack is still ongoing,” said Bryce Boland, chief technology officer for Asia Pacific at FireEye and co-author of the report.

The servers which the attackers used were still operational, and that FireEye continued to see attacks against its customers, he said.

China routinely denies accusations about hacker attacks. A similar report in 2011 by McAfee said the Chinese hackers targeted Asian governments and institutions, among other targets.

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