China has said it strongly opposes "slanderous" accusations made by foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt, the US and other nations, which criticised the country for utilising cyber hacks for "economic espionage".
The UK government yesterday said a group known as APT 10 acted on behalf of the Chinese Ministry of State Security to carry out a "malicious" cyber campaign targeting intellectual property and commercial data in Europe, Asia and the US.
Hunt said the campaign was focused on large-scale service providers and warned the group is continuing to target global companies in a bid to steal business secrets.
China also urged the US to withdraw charges against two Chinese citizens, known to have operated within APT 10, adding that it had never participated in or supported any stealing of commercial secrets.
"We urge the U.S. side to immediately correct its erroneous actions and cease its slanderous smears relating to internet security" it said, adding that it would take necessary measures to safeguard its own cybersecurity and interests.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry added that the UK and other countries had also made “slanderous comments” stemming from “ulterior motives”.
Hunt said yesterday: “This campaign is one of the most significant and widespread cyber intrusions against the UK and allies uncovered to date, targeting trade secrets and economies around the world.
“Our message to governments prepared to enable these activities is clear: together with our allies, we will expose your actions and take other necessary steps to ensure the rule of law is upheld.”