China has now denied the event having taken place – one official from the foreign ministry highlighting how the allegations “reflected Cold War mentality”. The attack in question, it is understood, put out of action components of a computer system belonging to the US Defence Secretary, Robert Gates.
Prior to this current denial, China, at the end of last month, issued a similar disclaimer in respect of reports that it had infringed the German government’s computer security. Included within this was the confirmation that China fundamentally stands against “any criminal acts undermining computer systems, including hacking”.
Both reports coincide with US President George W. Bush’s current participation in the Apec meeting in Australia, which also involves Hu Jintao, his equivalent in China.
Jiang Yu, an official at the Chinese foreign ministry, affirmed that Beijing "opposed and vigorously attacked" internet hacks of any kind. She continued: "Some people are making wild accusations against China ... These are totally groundless and also reflect a Cold War mentality."
The Pentagon attack occurred in June of this year. To date, it has not issued any form of statement in which the identity of the perpetrator is revealed.
The information linking China into the equation has, so far, come from alternative sources. According to industry analysts, the Chinese and US militaries frequently investigate each others technology. Despite this, the sheer scale to which the June attack disrupted normality at the Pentagon has highlighted new fears.
One figure in particular, formerly a US government employee, recently stated: “The PLA has demonstrated the ability to conduct attacks that disable our system...and the ability in a conflict situation to re-enter and disrupt on a very large scale.”
Security International naturally has a strong and continued interest in this situation. As such, we will continue to provide unrivalled coverage of the latest developments as we get the facts.