China has accused the U.S. for most of the cyberattacks launched against its military networks.
In a statement released today, China's Ministry of National Defense said that cyberattacks against its military sites have increased over the past few years. Based on checks of IP addresses, the Defense Ministry claimed an average of 144,000 cyberattacks per month last year, according to Reuters.
And it fingered the U.S. for almost 63 percent of them.
The allegations from Beijing come hot on the heels of a recent report from U.S. security firm Mandiant, linking the Chinese army to cyberattacks against the United States. Citing digital forensic evidence, investigators for Mandiant said they found an office building just outside of Shanghai that housed People's Liberation Army Unit 61398 and traced a Chinese hacking group to that location.
China immediately denied any involvement and condemned the report for lack of hard evidence. Defense Ministry representative Geng Yansheng challenged Mandiant's findings, saying that IP addresses can be stolen by hackers and are no proof as to the source of a hacking attack.
"Everyone knows that the use of usurped IP addresses to carry out hacking attacks happens on an almost daily basis," Yansheng said last week, according to Reuters.
The irony is that China's accusations against the United States cite IP addresses as "proof" that the U.S. is behind most of the cyberattacks against its military sites.
So the Chinese government is clearly trying to play tit-for-tat.
Today's statement also pointed to recent news that the U.S. plans to expand its cyberwarfare capabilities but said such actions would not help the international community defend itself against cyberattacks.
"We hope that the U.S. side can explain and clarify this," the statement added.