The complex matter of private hackers targeting foreign governments’ websites is nothing new, but is becoming even more complex with the US government openly promising revenge attacks against China, and the Chinese government is now reporting massive numbers of attacks have been coming out of the US.
The US never offered any proof that the hackers, which it says came from Chinese IP addresses, were actually backed by the Chinese government. Rather it just assumed so. The Chinese Defense Ministry’s own reports are likewise lacking in evidence that the US government is directly involved, though US threats to do so make such suspicions at least a reasonable supposition.
On the other hand, Chinese officials suggest the attacks are nothing new, and that the military’s websites are hit over 100,000 times a month for years, overwhelmingly by American hackers. The number has risen recently, however.
Chinese reaction seems considerably less bellicose than the White House’s response, however, with officials saying that they hoped the US would clarify their own government’s policy vis-a-vis attacks, and reiterating that the Chinese cyber forces were “purely defensive” and not planning to launch offensive attacks.