China denies hacking Microsoft, calls allegations ‘baseless’ and ‘irresponsible’

Chinese authorities on Tuesday denied carrying out a massive hack of key Microsoft servers, describing the US allies’ allegations as “baseless” and “irresponsible”.

The United States and several allies have publicly accused China of hacking into Microsoft Exchange, an email platform used by companies around the world.

In China’s first official response, embassies in Australia and New Zealand have issued fiery statements of denial.

The Chinese embassy in Wellington described the allegations as “totally baseless and irresponsible” and a “malicious defamation”.

The embassy in Canberra accused Australia of “parroting” US rhetoric and described Washington as “the world champion of malicious cyber attacks”.

The administration of President Joe Biden has accused China of fostering an “ecosystem of criminal contract hackers who engage in both state-sponsored activities and cybercrime for their own financial gain”.

Assigning sophisticated cyberattacks is both technically difficult and politically fraught – so the rare decision by US allies to publicly blame China is expected to deliver a sharp response.

“Given the virtual nature of cyberspace, one must have clear evidence when investigating and identifying cyber-related incidents,” the Chinese embassy in New Zealand said.


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