Accusations over hacking continue to be fired from the US at China, with Wall Street Journal owner Rupert Murdoch claiming that his paper has been under sustained attack from the People’s Republic.
Long standing friction over Internet security between the two nations has escalated in recent weeks, with the limelight falling on US media outlets in particular. At the end of January, The New York Times reported that it had been compromised by Chinese hackers (opens in new tab) over a period of four months, most likely in retaliation to its investigations into the business dealings of Chinese government members.
The Wall Street Journal then confirmed its own breach the following day, suspicious that its coverage of China was also being monitored from those with connections to the state.
Despite this publicity and a rebuttal from the Chinese Ministry of National Defence, Murdoch tweeted in the early hours of this morning:
“Chinese still hacking us, or were over weekend.”
The media tycoon has not yet expanded on his accusations but his claims will keep the fire burning between the US and China over the issue. Google chairman Eric Schmidt has also had a role in intensifying matters, after quotes from his forthcoming book were circulated in which he calls China the world’s “most sophisticated and prolific hacker” (opens in new tab).
Schmidt added that China’s cyber espionage attacks on foreign companies “violates the American sense of fair play. This is a difference in values as much as a legal one," he writes.
Nevertheless, the US seems suitably prepared to match its diplomatic foes in the cyber sphere, with reports emerging that a legal review has cleared the way for President Obama to launch pre-emptive cyber attacks (opens in new tab) on diplomatic foes if a credible digital threat is detected.