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China hits back at cyber attack accusations

Newspaper labels claims 'irresponsible'

A Chinese newspaper has slammed suggestions that the country is behind a series of cyber attacks that saw 72 organisations across the globe affected.

The series of attacks, which is thought to be the biggest ever, was discovered by security firm McAfee in March after its researchers uncovered a number of attack logs while investigating a 'command and control' server obtained in 2009 under an investigation of security breaches at defence companies.

The attacks, which McAfee called 'Operation Shady RAT (Remote Access Tool)' were carried out over a five-year period from 2006 and saw the US, Vietnamese and Canadian governments targeted along with the UN, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the World Anti-Doping Agency.

McAfee said one "state actor" was behind the attacks, although the security firm would not identify who it was. Instead, Jim Lewis a cyber expert with the Centre for Strategic and International Studies, was briefed on the discovery by McAfee said was "very likely" China was behind the campaign.

According to Reuters, the People's Daily said: "Linking China to internet hacking attacks is irresponsible. The McAfee report claims that a 'state actor' engaged in hacking for a large-scale internet espionage operation, but its analysis clearly does not stand up to scrutiny".

"In fact, as the number of hacking attacks on prominent international businesses and organisations has grown this year, some Western media have repeatedly depicted China as the villain behind the scenes," said the paper.

However, there has been not any official comment from Chinese authorities on the accusations.

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