China denies role in Google cyberattacks

After warning of strained U.S.-China relations, China's government has issued a statement denying any state involvement in the cyber attacks on Google and some 30 other companies.
The statement, issued Monday Beijing time by China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology and carried on the state news agency Xinhua, comes at a time of heightened tension between China and the United States over Internet censorship and security in China.
The "accusation that the Chinese government participated in (any) cyberattack, either in an explicit or inexplicit way, is groundless and aims to denigrate China," an unidentified ministry spokesman told Xinhua, according to an Agence France Presse report. "We are firmly opposed to that."
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton formally denounced Internet censorship in a speech Thursday that was directed both at the private and public sectors. For corporations, she said, "Censorship should not be accepted by any company from anywhere. American companies need to make a principled stand."
China, which has stated that companies doing business in that country must respect and adhere to its laws, responded by warning that the new U.S. stance could hurt relations between the two countries.
"The United States has criticized China's policies to administer the Internet and insinuated that China restricts Internet freedom...This runs contrary to the facts and is harmful to China-U.S. relations," a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman said.
Google disclosed the attacks targeting it and other U.S. companies on January 12 and said the attacks originated in China. The company said it discovered the attacks in mid-December and while it did not specifically implicate the Chinese government, it says that as a result of the incidents, it may withdraw from doing business in China.
Source code was stolen from some of more than 30 Silicon Valley companies targeted in the attack, sources said. Adobe Systems has confirmed that it was targeted by an attack, and sources have said Yahoo, Symantec, Juniper Networks, Northrop Grumman, and Dow Chemical also were targets.