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China denies domestic hackers gained access to US jet program

CHINA yesterday denied media reports that hackers located in the country breached a US jet fighter program two years ago, calling the allegations "irresponsible" and "made up."

China said that it was foolish to allege that the cyber attacks originated here without thorough investigation.

"We have reiterated many times our policies of firmly opposing and severely cracking down on all crimes that damage the Internet, including hacking," Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu told a regular news conference.

Jiang's remarks came in response to a question about a US government plan to create a new military command focusing on Pentagon computer networks and offensive capabilities in cyber warfare. The plan is also designed to protect America's networks from attacks by hackers.

A senior US defense official in Washington earlier this week confirmed that hackers nearly two years ago breached a high-tech F-35 jet fighter program developed for the Pentagon by Lockheed Martin Corp but said it was unclear who did it and that classified information was not compromised.

The Wall Street Journal, which first reported the breach, cited unnamed former US officials as saying the attacks appeared to have originated in China, although it was difficult to determine the origin because of the ease of hiding identities online.

China's information network also faces threat of cyber attacks, Jiang said. Eight of 10 computers in China with access to the Internet have been attacked by hackers.

The number of Chinese Internet users reached nearly 300 million at the end of last year, the most in the world.

The Chinese government has always attached great importance to the security of its computer network. The Ministry of Public Security strengthened international cooperation to investigate cross-border cyber crimes, Jiang said.

"Some people keep making up stories. I don't know what their intention is," Jiang said when asked to comment on the reports. "We believe that without the results of any investigation, it would be irresponsible to make accusations against China."


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