China steps up defence on hacking allegations

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Chinese state media stepped up the war of words on Thursday over allegations of sophisticated cyberattacks on US firms, branding the accusations a "commercial stunt" and accusing Washington of ulterior motives.

American Internet security firm Mandiant earlier this week said that a Chinese military cyberspy unit is targeting US and other foreign firms and organisations with hacking attacks.

But an editorial in the state-run China Daily said: "One cannot help but ask the real purpose of such a hullabaloo." "With the US economic recovery dragging its feet, it is reasonable to think that some in Washington may want to make China a scapegoat so that public attention is diverted away from the country's economic woes," it added.