China denies it is behind hacking of U.S. satellites

BEIJING Mon Oct 31, 2011 10:01am GMT

BEIJING (Reuters) - Beijing on Monday denied a U.S. commission's claim that China may have been responsible for hacking incidents on U.S. environment-monitoring satellites, saying that the committee had "ulterior motives" in writing such a draft report.

At least two U.S. environment-monitoring satellites were interfered with four or more times in 2007 and 2008 via a ground station in Norway, and China's military is a prime suspect, according to the draft report to Congress.

The U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission, which reported the interference, said the events had not actually been traced to China. It said it was citing them "because the techniques appear consistent with authoritative Chinese military writings" that have advocated disabling satellite control facilities in any conflict.

The committee "has always been viewing China with colored lenses," Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said at a regular news briefing on Monday. "This report is untrue and has ulterior motives. It's not worth a comment."

Hong reiterated China's stance that it "is also a victim of hacking attacks and will oppose any form of cyber crime, including hacking."

The cyberattacks add to the long list of tensions between the United States and China that span trade issues, human rights, the value of the yuan currency and Taiwan.

(Reporting by Sui-Lee Wee; Editing by Ken Wills and Yoko Nishikawa)

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