OPINIONS While loudly crying 'stop thief', NSA is the bandit in cyberspace


While loudly crying 'stop thief', NSA is the bandit in cyberspace

China Daily

17:41, September 10, 2022


To discredit China on the issue of network security, cyber snooping has been a significant part of the United States' scaremongering of China in recent years, and with bilateral ties continuing to deteriorate, it will likely turn up the volume even more.

In contrast with Washington's strident allegations that Chinese institutions and individuals are responsible for cyberattacks, Beijing has seldom gone beyond denying the US' accusations and stating that China is a victim of an increasing number of cyberattacks that have been traced to the United States.

But things seem to have taken an abrupt turn on Monday as China kick-started its 2022 National Network Security Awareness Week with the release of a report that accuses the US National Security Agency of "tens of thousands of malicious attacks on network targets in China in recent years".

The report titled "Network Security for the People, Network Security by the People", issued by the National Computer Virus Emergency Response Center and network security provider Qihoo 360 Technology Company, shows that rather than China being the "aggressor" and the US the "victim", it is the other way round.

It specifically highlights the attacks by the NSA's Office of Tailored Access Operations on Northwestern Polytechnical University.

According to the report, TAO has employed 41 different cyber warfare weapons to conduct hundreds of attacks on the Xi'an-based Chinese research university, which is on the US "Entity List" for alleged ties with the Chinese military, and stolen "core technical data". The report also points the finger at TAO for hacking leading Chinese companies, government agencies, colleges, medical and research institutions, by means of which it "seems to have stolen high-value data". Meanwhile, TAO was also identified as the perpetrator of indiscriminate audio surveillance of Chinese cellphone users, and had stolen the content of text messages from them and conducted wireless positioning of them.

These revelations should serve to raise public awareness of network security.

More importantly, the report, which identifies 13 individuals which it says are directly responsible for cyberattacks against China from the US, as well as more than 60 contracts and over 170 electronic documents involving such operations, presents a clear chain of evidence against the longstanding US cyber spying allegations.

The thief-crying NSA is itself the thief of internet secrets, and has become "a virus threatening global network security", as a China Global Television Network editorial noted.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry has called on Washington to explain and stop the attacks, and the world to oppose US network hegemony. As Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning said in a news conference on Monday, "cybersecurity threats are a common challenge faced by all countries, and safeguarding cybersecurity is a shared responsibility".

Cyberspace is a common good. The international community should beware the US attempts to extend its hegemony into the virtual world, as its pernicious and persistent cyberattacks on other countries show it will abuse its dominance as it has in the real world.

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