(State Department photo)

China Denies Sponsoring Global Cyber Espionage Campaign

China is denying accusations that hackers working on behalf of its Ministry of State Security infiltrated the networks of Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co and IBM, among dozens of other managed service providers around the world. The Chinese Foreign Ministry responded that the charges leveled against two of its nationals are lies, and that the country never participated in a global cyber espionage campaign. 

“We urge the U.S. side to immediately correct its erroneous actions and cease its slanderous smears relating to internet security,” the ministry said, according to Reuters. “The U.S. side making unwarranted criticisms of China in the name of so-called ‘cyber stealing’ is blaming others while oneself is to be blamed, and is self-deception. China absolutely cannot accept this.”

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen on Thursday urged China to abide by cyber commitments signed by Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2015.

SEE: Pompeo and Nielsen: China Breaking No-Cyber-Spying Promise as Hackers Charged

The alleged hackers, Zhu Hua and Zhang Shilong, are accused of working in a cybersecurity community officially designated as the Advanced Persistent Threat Group 10 (APT10), and which is alternatively known as “Red Apollo,” “CVNX,” “Stone Panda,” “MenuPass,” and “POTASSIUM.” The pair worked for Chinese firm Huaying Haitai Science and Technology Development Company, and in association with the Chinese Ministry of State Security’s Tianjin State Security Bureau.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry said that China is taking steps to shore up its cyber capabilities from outside threats.

“Perhaps they think that if they repeat a lie 1,000 times it becomes the truth,” ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying told reporters, according to Reuters. “But I want to tell them that it’s still a lie even if repeated 10,000 times.”

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Multimedia journalist James Cullum has reported for over a decade to newspapers, magazines and websites in the D.C. metro area. He excels at finding order in chaotic environments, from slave liberations in South Sudan to the halls of the power in Washington, D.C.

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