China said on Tuesday that accusations made by the United States and its allies that the Chinese government has conducted a global cyber hacking campaign were unwarranted.
Foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said the accusations were politically motivated smears and the United States had not provided enough evidence.
The United States and its allies accused China on Monday of a global cyberespionage campaign, mustering an unusually broad coalition of countries to publicly call out Beijing for hacking.
The announcements, though not accompanied by sanctions against the Chinese government, were intended as a forceful condemnation of activities a senior Biden administration official described as part of a “pattern of irresponsible behavior in cyberspace.” They highlighted the ongoing threat from Chinese hackers even as the administration remains consumed with trying to curb ransomware attacks from Russia-based syndicates that have targeted critical infrastructure.
The broad range of cyberthreats from Beijing disclosed on Monday included a ransomware attack from government-affiliated hackers that targeted victims — including in the US — with demands for millions of dollars. US officials also alleged that criminal contract hackers associated with China’s Ministry of State Security have engaged in cyber extortion schemes and theft for their own profit.
Meanwhile, the Justice Department on Monday announced charges against four Chinese nationals who prosecutors said were working with the MSS in a hacking campaign that targeted dozens of computer systems, including companies, universities and government entities. The defendants are accused of targeting trade secrets and confidential business information, including scientific technologies and infectious-disease research.