By Shannon Najmabadi
Image credit: @eole
China’s Foreign Minister has called for international ‘rules and cooperation’ in cyberspace – the latest response to the online spying accusations that have seen both China and the US pointing fingers at the other country.
Modern advancements in technology have not only provided the world with increasingly devastating weapons, they have also introduced a new type of warfare altogether: cyber warfare.
The Internet has become a virtual battleground for China and the U.S., with both countries claiming to be victim to hacking attacks orchestrated by the other nation.
China’s National Computer Network Emergency Response Coordination Center cited the US as the “top-ranking country” that hacked into Chinese servers, adding that two Chinese military websites were attacked approximately 144,000 times a month in 2012, with almost two-thirds of the attacks coming from the US, according to Reuters.
On the other hand, cyber security firm Mandiant released a report last month pegging a Shanghai-based unit of the Chinese military as the perpetrators of years’ worth of cyber attacks against US companies, according to People’s Daily Online. China’s Foreign Ministry and Defense Ministry both dismissed the report – which pinpointed the location of the secret unit to a 12-story building on the outskirts of Shanghai – as “amateurish,” according to Xinhua.
According to the New York Times, American intelligence officials have privately said “they have evidence of Chinese government involvement in the attacks,” and that “the White House is expected to press Beijing on the issue.”
However, Chinese officials have insisted that allegations of hacking are untrue. Speaking on Saturday, Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi said the Mandiant report was built on “shaky ground” and hopes “irresponsible rebuke or criticism (against China)” will end, according to Xinhua.
China and the US, the world’s two largest economies, face significant political and economic pressures. However, perhaps it is not the critiques of armchair politicians, but rather the operations of computer-chair activists, that the countries need to watch.