Days after being linked to a massive global hacking campaign, the Chinese government has blamed India and the United States for targeting the country in thousands of cyber attacks over the past year.
An official report released on Tuesday claimed that about half of 493,000 cyber attacks on the websites of the Chinese government and other agencies "originated from abroad, particularly the United States and India".
It said the attacks were in the form of malicious "Trojan" software, with 14.7 per cent linked to Internet Protocol addresses (IPs) in the United States and 8 per cent located in India. Around 35,000 web pages, including 4,635 government websites, were targeted in the past year, a 67.6 per cent increase from the year before.
The report was released by the National Computer Network Emergency Response Coordination Centre, which is the Chinese government’s "primary computer security monitoring network", according to the State media.
The release of the report by Chinese authorities comes in the wake of a global investigation into cyber attacks by private cyber security firm McCafee, the findings of which were announced last week. The investigation documented 72 hacks into websites across the globe. On the list were government agencies in India and the U.S., Asian and Western national Olympic committees, the International Olympic Committee and the United Nations.
From the timing of the attack and the nature of its targets, several security experts had pointed a finger at China, though the report only said that a "State-actor" could be behind the hacking.
In June, China-based hackers were also linked to hacking attacks on the Google accounts of several activists.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry then denied any role in the hacking attempts, saying the accusations linking China to global hacking attacks were "unfounded" and that China too was a victim of cyber attacks, a point stressed in Tuesday's report.
Indian officials have, in the past, pointed to China-based hackers as being behind hundreds of hacking attacks on government websites. A string of cyber attacks ahead of the Commonwealth Games in New Delhi last year were also reportedly linked to China-based IP addresses.