China says U.S. addresses used its computers to launch cyberattacks on Russia, Ukraine

FILE PHOTO: Illustration photo of computer code on a screen above a Chinese flag
FILE PHOTO: Computer code is seen on a screen above a Chinese flag in this July 12, 2017 illustration photo. REUTERS/Thomas White/Illustration

March 11, 2022

SHANGHAI (Reuters) – China has experienced continuous cyberattacks since February in which internet addresses in the United States have been used to seize control of Chinese computers to target Belarus, Russia and Ukraine, state news agency Xinhua said on Friday.

It cited the National Computer Network Emergency Response Technical Team/Coordination Center of China (CNCERT/CC), a cybersecurity technical centre that leads efforts to prevent and detect cybersecurity threats to the country.

“Monitoring by the CNCERT/CC found that since late February, China’s internet has continuously faced cyberattacks from abroad. These overseas groups attacked by taking control of computers in the country to carry out cyber attacks on Russia, Ukraine and Belarus,” it quoted the centre as saying.

“After analysis, most the addresses for these attacks came from the United States,” it said, adding that a few came from other countries such as Germany and the Netherlands.

Cyberattacks have been a major point of tension between the United States and its allies and China, as the former have accused China of a carrying out a global cyberespionage campaign.

China says that it does not engage in cyberattacks and has called such allegations “malicious smears”.

(Reporting by Brenda Goh; Editing by Christopher Cushing and Kenneth Maxwell)