China on Tuesday strongly hit out a report issued by a U.S. cyber security firm linking a People’s Liberation Army (PLA) unit to a spate of hacking attacks, describing the claims as “groundless”.

Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hong Lei questioned security firm Mandiant’s findings, saying he did not know “how such evidence could be discovered, as cyber attacks are often carried out internationally and are typically done so anonymously”.

“China has been a major victim of cyber attacks and opposes all forms of such activity,” said Mr. Hong, adding that “groundless criticism is irresponsible and unprofessional, and it will not help to solve the problem”.

Citing a report by China’s National Computer Network Emergency Response Technical Team Coordination Center, Mr. Hong said 73,000 foreign IP addresses had been linked to attacks on 14 million computers in China. Attacks originating from the U.S. , he added, “ranked at the top”.

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