Beijing: China on Tuesday rejected reports that Indian government computers had been attacked by Chinese hackers as “groundless”, one week after US Internet giant Google
made a similar accusation.
A source in the office of Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh confirmed an attempted hacking to AFP last Friday, but said nothing had been compromised.
The origin of the cyber attack was unknown at this stage, the source said, but daily newspaper Mail Today reported that China was the chief suspect.
“I can say that these accusations are groundless,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu told reporters, declaring that China itself was the “biggest victim” of hacking activities.
“The Chinese government is firmly against hacking activities and will deal with relevant cases in accordance with the law,” he said.
In an interview published Monday, India’s national security adviser, M. K. Narayanan, confirmed his office and other government departments were targeted with an email with a PDF attachment that contained a “Trojan” virus.
The email, which Indian authorities suspect came from China, would allow a hacker to access a computer remotely and download or delete files.
“This was not the first instance of an attempt to hack into our computers,” Narayanan told The Times of London.
“People seem to be fairly sure it was the Chinese. It is difficult to find the exact source but this is the main suspicion. It seems well founded,” he said.
The official from the Indian prime minister’s office, speaking on condition of anonymity, said several attempts had been made in the past to hack government computers through “various means”.
The accusations came after Google said it was considering whether to leave China after it suffered a major cyberattack by hackers believed to be based in the country.
When asked if Google had contacted the Chinese government to hold talks on the matter, Ma said: “I’m not aware of the situation.”