Chinese officials on Tuesday denied any massive hacking of key Microsoft servers, calling the claims by US allies “baseless” and “irresponsible.”
The United States and several allies have publicly accused China of hacking Microsoft Exchange, an email platform used by businesses around the world.
In China’s first official response, the Australian and New Zealand embassies issued fiery denial statements.
The Chinese Embassy in Wellington called the allegations “completely unfounded and irresponsible” and “malicious defamation”.
The embassy in Canberra accused Australia of “repeating” American rhetoric and described Washington as “the world champion of malicious cyber attacks”.
President Joe Biden’s administration accused China of fostering an “ecosystem of criminal hackers who carry out both state-sponsored activities and cybercrime for their own financial gain.”
Attribution of sophisticated cyberattacks is both technically difficult and politically burdensome – so the rare decision by U.S. allies to publicly blame China was bound to be a brutal response.
“Given the virtual nature of cyberspace, clear evidence is required to investigate and identify cyber incidents,” the Chinese embassy in New Zealand said.