| Global Times | 2013-3-14 1:13:01
By Guo Kai
US President Barack Obama claimed Wednesday that some cyber attacks originating in China on US firms and infrastructure were "state sponsored," AFP reported, triggering Chinese experts to retort by accusing the president of searching for support for his government budget.
Obama took broad swipes at China without providing specific evidence or naming names during an interview with ABC News Tuesday.
"What is absolutely true is that we have seen a steady ramping up of cyber security threats. Some are state sponsored. Some are just sponsored by criminals," Obama said.
The president also cautioned about the need to avoid "war rhetoric" when discussing cyber attacks.
Fang Binxing, a professor at the Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications, told the Global Times Obama was using the issue of cyber security to deflect the spotlight from his inability to reach agreement on a government budget.
"Every time the US government faces a budget problem, it revisits cyber attacks from China," Fang said.
According to Fang, so far no direct evidence shows that cyber attacks on US firms originate from China, much less are sponsored by the Chinese government.
"As an insider of the industry, I know how cautiously hackers perform. An earlier US report said a hacker in Shanghai was detected with simple codes, which is really ridiculous," Fang said.
Last month, a US Internet security firm accused a Shanghai-based People's Liberation Army unit of stealing data from at least 141 organizations. Both China's defense and foreign ministries immediately dismissed the accusation.
Da Wei, a US studies expert at the China Institute of Contemporary International Relations, echoed Fang's sentiment, claiming current technologies could not trace the source or sponsor of cyber attacks targeting the US.
"Both countries should pay more attention to bilateral relations rather than cyber attacks. Cooperation from the two countries on cyber security would be more helpful," Da said, adding "strong rules and management" are needed from both sides.
During his TV interview, Obama also said that the US has made it clear that it expects China and "some other state actors" to follow international norms and abide by international rules.
"We'll have some pretty tough talk with them. We already have," Obama said in reference to China, complaining that billions of dollars and industrial secrets have been lost due to cyber hacking, according to AFP.
On Tuesday, Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said that "in terms of Internet security, China is vulnerable and one of the most seriously attacked victims."
Agencies contributed to this story
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