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  (Source: AP)
U.S. is number two in world attack traffic (China is number one)

They're hacking the government.  The government is powerless to stop them in many cases.  They're hacking domestic firms.  Again, the government stands helpless.  Think we're talking about China hacking the U.S.?  Nope.

In an interesting twist, this week China -- the nation that U.S. security firms claim is the number one cyberaggressor -- claimed it is really the victim of a relentless and brutal cyberassault from the U.S.

In response to tough rhetoric by President Obama that continued Chinese hacking would bring "consequences" including, potentially, trade penalties, China's Defense Ministry hit back.  Geng Yansheng, Ministry spokesman commented in an online post (translated by Reuters).

The Defense Ministry and China Military Online websites have faced a serious threat from hacking attacks since they were established, and the number of hacks has risen steadily in recent years.

According to the IP addresses, the Defense Ministry and China Military Online websites were, in 2012, hacked on average from overseas 144,000 times a month, of which attacks from the U.S. accounted for 62.9 percent.

In addition to accusing the U.S. of victimizing his nation online, he also says that U.S. government officials were uncooperative in increasing "international cooperation" to stop hacking.  He implies the U.S. may be engaging in hypocrisy by openly expanding its own cyberwarfare capabilities, while leveling accusations against his nation, commenting, "We hope that the U.S. side can explain and clarify this."

China hackers
China claims the U.S. is the real cyberaggressor. [Image Source: Asia Society]

So is there any truth in his claims?  Well, according to security experts "kinda".  In a recent report by Akama Technologies, Inc. (AKAM), the U.S. was second in global attack traffic.  Approximately 13 percent of attacks come from the U.S.

In other words, China's claims are certainly feasible.  However, it is thought that much, if not all of the U.S. attack traffic originates from the private sector in the U.S.

China, by contrast, is number one in attack traffic.  33 percent of global attack traffic appears to come from China.  And what's more, while the Chinese government denies playing any role in hacking, a large part of that traffic is thought to come from a secret unit in the People's Liberation Army (PLA).

Source: Chinese Defense Ministry via Reuters





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