China accuses US, allies of 'disinformation' over hacking claims

US, China flags

US tightened it export controls with an aim of restricting China's ability to buy and manufacture high-end chips with military applications

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China accused the United States and its allies of waging a "disinformation campaign" Thursday, after Washington, its Western partners and Microsoft said state-sponsored Chinese hackers had infiltrated critical US infrastructure networks.

"This is an extremely unprofessional report with a missing chain of evidence, this is just scissors-and-paste work," foreign ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning said.

The allegations were "a collective disinformation campaign of the Five Eyes coalition countries", she said.

In a report Wednesday, Microsoft highlighted Guam, a US territory in the Pacific Ocean with a vital military outpost, as one of the targets of the allegedly Chinese state-backed hackers.

But, it said, "malicious" activity had also been detected elsewhere in the United States.

The stealthy attack -- carried out by a China-sponsored actor dubbed "Volt Typhoon" since mid-2021 -- enabled long-term espionage and was likely aimed at hampering the United States in the event of a conflict, it said.

The claims were echoed by the United States and its allies in the Five Eyes security alliance -- Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United Kingdom -- accusations Beijing denied on Thursday.

The United States, Mao said, "was expanding new channels for disseminating disinformation".

"But no change in tactics can alter the fact that the US is a hacker empire," she said