Tuesday 20 July 2021 2:32 pm

China calls US, UK cyber attack allegations 'groundless and irresponsible'

China has denied US-led accusations of orchestrating a global cyber hacking campaign against tech giants including Microsoft.

The US and a coalition of allies, including the UK, EU, Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand and Nato, on Monday accused China behind the “systematic cyber sabotage”, including a major hacking of Microsoft earlier this year.

China hit back today and called the claim was fabricated for political goals.

“The US ganged up with its allies to make groundless accusations out of thin air against China on the cybersecurity issue. This act confuses right with wrong and smears and suppresses China out of political purpose. China will never accept this,” China’s foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian spoke at the regular press conference on Tuesday.

A spokesperson for the Chinese Embassy in Washington, Liu Pengyu, also called the accusations against China “irresponsible”.

Britain’s foreign secretary Dominic Raab on Monday described the hacking campaign as “a reckless but familiar pattern of behaviour”, urging Beijing “must end this systematic cyber sabotage and can expect to be held to account if it does not”.

The Chinese Embassy in the UK slammed London’s accusation as “sheer fabrication and slander”.

“The Chinese side is gravely concerned and strongly opposed to this. We call on the UK side to immediately stop echoing the groundless and irresponsible accusation against China,” said the embassy spokesperson.

The attacks, which took place in March, exploited vulnerabilities in Microsoft Exchange servers to gain access to tens of thousands of organisations in Asia and Europe, including the European Banking Authority.

Microsoft had blamed a hacker group with links to the Chinese state for the attacks, and the White House later launched an emergency task force to look into the issues.