China refutes allegation of cyber-spying as U.S. plans to launch counter-attack

China has refuted allegations that a Shanghai-based unit of its Army has stolen hundreds of terrabytes of information from U. S. firms.

Computer security firm Mandiant recently accused the Chinese military Unit 61398 of stealing state and industrial sensitive information from 140 U. S. companies.

As expected, the Chinese authorities refuted the allegation, citing lack of any hard legal evidence.

Challenging Mandiant's findings, Defense Ministry representative Geng Yansheng said, "There is no legal evidence behind the report subjectively inducing that the everyday gathering of online (information) is online spying."

Yansheng added that it was very irresponsible on Mandiant's part to publish such a report as cyberattacks are carried out anonymously, leaving their source in total vagueness.

Meanwhile, the U. S. authorities have warned that they would launch unprecedented counter-attacks on the Chinese hackers who stole the country's secrets.

Western governments have long been accusing Chinese hackers of carrying out wholesale thefts of military secrets as well as valuable business information. British Foreign Secretary William Hague yesterday warned that Western countries were suffering unprecedented levels of cyber theft because of espionage. While he didn't name China, journalists were quick to guess that the Chinese were to blame.