China says it was targeted in 500,000 cyberattacks

BEIJING (AP) — Nearly 500,000 cyberattacks were aimed at computers in China last year and almost half originated overseas, the government said Tuesday, following recent suggestions Beijing might be behind long-term security attacks internationally.

The vast majority of the attacks a Chinese monitoring agency reported were in the form of Trojan horse malware that installs on computers, allowing them to monitor usage and access personal information.

Of those Trojan horse attacks, 14.7 percent of those were traced to IP addresses in the United States and 8 percent in India.

The findings were reported on the website of the National Computer Network Emergency Response Coordination Center of China.

Computer security firm McAfee Inc. reported in early August that cyberattacks lasting at least five years targeted more than 70 entities, including national governments. Identified targets were the United Nations, the International Olympic Committee and many American companies.

McAfee said the culprit was most likely a nation state, and broad suspicion has fallen on China.

China has not responded officially but state media has said the speculation of a Chinese link was irresponsible. China has denied all charges of hacking in the past and says the country itself is a victim of hacking.