SHANGHAI — A day after a security company in the United States accused a People’s Liberation Army unit in Shanghai of engaging in warfare using cyberattacks against U.S. government agencies, organizations and corporations, China’s defense ministry issued a strong denial while insisting that the company’s report was flawed.
On Wednesday at a Beijing news conference, the Chinese ministry challenged the study completed by Mandiant, a U.S. computer security company, stating that the allegations in the report were destructive.
Mandiant’s report identified P.L.A. Unit 61398 in Shanghai as one of the world’s most aggressive computer hacking operations.
A spokesman for China’s Ministry of National Defense, Geng Yansheng, said that China had also been the victim of cyberattacks that have originated in the U.S. and that Mandiant had mischaracterized the activities of China.
At the briefing, Mr. Geng said, “Chinese military forces have never supported any hacking activities. The claim by the Mandiant company that the Chinese military engages in Internet espionage has no foundation in fact.”
Hong Lei, a spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in China, on Tuesday, made similar remarks about Mandiant’s report, when he argued that it is difficult to trace cyberattacks because they are often carried out internationally and anonymously.
On Tuesday, the New York Times reported that there is an increasing amount of digital forensic evidence that points to the involvement of the army unit in Shanghai, and American intelligence officials have been tracking the activities of the unit.
The report completed by Mandiant, accusing a People’s Liberation Army unit in Shanghai of engaging in warfare using cyberattacks against various sectors in the U.S. is posted on their website.