"We have mountains of data, if we wanted to accuse the U.S., but it's not helpful in solving the problem," Huang Chengqing, the director of the National Computer Network Emergency Response Technical Team Coordination Center of China (CNCERT), told government-run media outlet China Daily Wednesday.
According to data published by CNCERT, in the first three months of 2013, 5.6 million systems in China were infected by malware tied to 13,400 command-and-control servers located overseas. Of those, more than half of infected systems -- 2.9 million PCs -- were controlled by about 4,000 command-and-control servers based in the United States. Meanwhile, 3,500 U.S. systems had been used to take over about 7,700 different websites located in China.
[ China has been blamed for a variety of intrusions. Read China Tied To 3-Year Hack Of Defense Contractor. ]
In the same timeframe, CNCERT reported that 54 U.S.-based IP addresses had "hijacked Chinese official websites to steal data," which according to China Daily included sites related to "government departments, key information systems and research institutions."
Despite the origin of the attacks, "it's hard to judge whether the U.S. government supported or got involved in the hacking," Huang said. "Besides, hackers can easily hide their real location and identities." As a result, he added, "technically it is irresponsible and unfounded for some people to talk about alleged hacking supported by the Chinese authorities." Huang's comments were published in advance of a two-day Chinese-American summit between President Obama and China's newly minted leader, President Xi Jinping, which is scheduled to occur this Friday and Saturday in California. His comments continue the People's Republic of China (PRC) party line, which is that the government isn't sponsoring espionage attacks against the United States.
The blame game against Chinese hackers has intensified in recent months. In February, a report from security firm Mandiant accused a Chinese army unit of having launched advanced persistent threat (APT) attacks against U.S. businesses. In March, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang rejected those accusations, saying that they amounted to a "presumption of guilt," and that "China does not support but indeed oppose such attacks."
But a confidential Department of Defense report from January 2013, portions of which were first published last month by The Washington Post, said that hack attacks attributed to state-sponsored Chinese attackers had been much more widespread than previously acknowledged, and had resulted in the compromise of data relating to cutting-edge military weapons systems and technologies that are critical to national security.