China denies it is behind hacking of U.S. satellites

BEIJING Mon Oct 31, 2011 6:01am EDT

BEIJING (Reuters) - Beijing on Monday denied a U.S. commission's claim that China may have been responsible for hacking incidents on U.S. environment-monitoring satellites, saying that the committee had "ulterior motives" in writing such a draft report.

At least two U.S. environment-monitoring satellites were interfered with four or more times in 2007 and 2008 via a ground station in Norway, and China's military is a prime suspect, according to the draft report to Congress.

The U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission, which reported the interference, said the events had not actually been traced to China. It said it was citing them "because the techniques appear consistent with authoritative Chinese military writings" that have advocated disabling satellite control facilities in any conflict.

The committee "has always been viewing China with colored lenses," Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said at a regular news briefing on Monday. "This report is untrue and has ulterior motives. It's not worth a comment."

Hong reiterated China's stance that it "is also a victim of hacking attacks and will oppose any form of cyber crime, including hacking."

The cyberattacks add to the long list of tensions between the United States and China that span trade issues, human rights, the value of the yuan currency and Taiwan.

(Reporting by Sui-Lee Wee; Editing by Ken Wills and Yoko Nishikawa)

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Comments (12)
Jeepgirl wrote:
This may have been news in the years of 2007 and 2008, but why wait 4 years to put this in the news? There always will be hacking, and waiting 4 years is almost like giving a speeding ticket to someone 4 years later. Technology changes too rapidly for something like this to be news after so much time. I hack for security flaws in legitimate software I design for sale. If it can be hacked by others, I want to know so I can fix it. Don’t our security teams have hackers trying to break into our own systems to correct security issues?

Oct 31, 2011 6:44am EDT  --  Report as abuse
ARJTurgot2 wrote:
@jeepgirl

You are unfortunately close to understanding a very severe national problem. Yes, the U.S. has a very robust cyber-warfare capability and has used it successfully repeatedly. That is DOD. You are asking about the U.S. defense against attack, and that is spread across multiple USG agencies and is basically a Pearl Harbor waiting to happen. Look into the history of the head of cyber security of Homeland Security. Tenure is usually a few months and then they leave, because no competent manager wants to be in that job. For mechanics on how the Chinese do it, look up ‘netcat relay’. It being environmental monitoring, you may have as many as 10 fed agencies involved, none of them properly staffed, none of them talking to the other. It’s spectacularly grim. My last agency had repeated major incidents, at times part of their governmental function had to be shut down, and when I presented my plan on how to deal with it I was simply told there was no money. I left two weeks later.

Oct 31, 2011 10:14am EDT  --  Report as abuse
SinoKat wrote:
Multinational companies are enabling Chinese cyber spying by developing and manufacturing software and technology in China. Any product or technology that is being off-shored to China is going to be exploited to advance Chinese economic, military, and intelligence objectives.

Oct 31, 2011 11:09am EDT  --  Report as abuse
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