The Chinese government says accusations that it was involved in cyberattacks against U.S. transportation contractors are "totally groundless and untenable."
The U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee said Wednesday that the Chinese military stole emails, documents and log-in credentials from contractors for the U.S. Transportation Command, a network that ties civilian airline and shipping contractors together for use in times of disaster.
Contractors faced more than 50 intrusions in the year from June 2012, almost half of which were successful in planting malware in computer systems, the committee said in a declassified report.
"The Chinese law bans all the activities that sabotage Internet security, including hacker attacks, and resolutely combats relevant criminal activities," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said during a briefing Thursday in Beijing, according to a transcript of his remarks. "The Chinese government and military by no means support any hacking activities."
"The Chinese side urges the American side to stop irresponsible attacks and finger pointing against China, stop large scale and systematic cyberattacks against other countries and do more to uphold peace and security of the cyberspace," he said.
This isn't the first time this year that the U.S. government has leveled such accusations against China.
In May, the U.S. Department of Justice indicted five people said to be affiliated with the Chinese military on charges related to cyberattacks and cyberespionage.
At the time, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said it was "deeply outraged" by the accusations and summoned the U.S. ambassador so he could hear the country's objections directly.
Martyn Williams covers mobile telecoms, Silicon Valley and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Martyn on Twitter at @martyn_williams. Martyn's e-mail address is email@example.com