Chinese authorities on Tuesday denied having carried out a massive hack of Microsoft’s main servers, describing US allies’ accusations as “baseless” and “irresponsible”.
The United States and several allies have publicly accused China of hacking Microsoft Exchange – an email platform used by companies around the world.
In China’s first official response, embassies in Australia and New Zealand issued fiery denials.
The Chinese embassy in Wellington described the allegations as “completely unfounded and irresponsible” and a “harmful smear”.
The embassy in Canberra accused Australia of “parroting” American rhetoric and described Washington as “the world champion of malicious cyberattacks”.
President Joe Biden’s administration has accused China of promoting an “ecosystem of criminal contract 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 volatile – so the rare decision by US allies to publicly blame China had been expected to provide a sharp response.
“Given the virtual nature of cyberspace, clear evidence must be provided when investigating and identifying cyber – related incidents,” said the Chinese Embassy in New Zealand.