Google's allegation that a cyber attack originating from China broke into hundreds of Gmail accounts, including those of high-level US government officials, has drawn angry denials from the Chinese government and escalated into a war of words between the two superpowers.
The latest accusations will once again raise tensions between Beijing and Washington despite China being repeatedly blamed for a series of cyber attacks on US companies and government websites and China repeatedly denying having a hand in it.
China's foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei said, ''any blame against China in this is groundless and with an ulterior motive, China is also a victim of hacking attacks. Blaming these misdeeds on China is unacceptable. The claims that China supports this kind of hacking are without any basis in fact."
In a Google's blog post yesterday, Eric Grosse, engineering director on the Google Security Team, said that in the cyber attacks that originated in Jinan, China, broke into the Gmail accounts of several hundred people, including those of high-level individuals, US and Asian government officials, Chinese political activists, journalists and military personnel.
"The goal of this effort seems to have been to monitor the contents of these users' emails, with the perpetrators apparently using stolen passwords to change peoples' forwarding and delegation settings," he added.
Meanwhile, Chinese scholars from the Academy of Military Sciences have blamed the US government for cyber attacks and called for stronger measures to protect the country from a US-led "Internet war.