China tries to deflect blame as evidence points towards organized cyber espionage from within Chinese borders

Cyber security issues have morphed from an issue of little importance to a major political issue in western nations, especially as China and several eastern European countries continue to bolster their cyber weapon arsenals.

Western nations routinely blame China for both government-operated hacking missions and organized cyberterrorism rings that operate in the country with very little legal recourse.

"This is purely another political issue that the West is trying to exaggerate," Beijing-based military analyst Song Xiaojun told a Chinese newspaper.  "As China grows, some in the West are trying every opportunity to manufacture fears over China's threat."

Many western security experts see China as one of the leading cyber threats in the world, and the country has been heavily criticized for alleged organized cyber attacks on western nations.  

"Cybersecurity has been a global issue, but this time those who see China as an emerging threat again have picked the subject as a new weapon," Peking University professor Zhu Feng said.

Despite Chinese officials showing outrage over being considered a cyber security threat, a spy network based in China reportedly hacked secure networks and government-operated systems in 103 nations, compromising around 1,300 computers total.  The Chinese computer espionage system, called GhostNet, targeted banks, other financial institutions, foreign embassies, media outlets, Tibet, and even the Dalai Lama.

"GhostNet is capable of taking full control of infected computers, including searching and downloading specific files, and covertly operating attached devices, including microphones and web cameras," according to the report.

Around 30 percent of PCs compromised are used by government agencies, according to the Citizen Lab at the University of Toronto and SecDev Group, who discovered the Chinese-led hacking operation.

There is a call for improved cybersecurity standards each time a western nation is targeted by an organized infiltration, especially when it originates from China.  Last month, President Barack Obama ordered a government-wide cyber security review, aimed at detecting possible vulnerable points at risk by foreign cyber threats.

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