China: don't blame us for US satellite hacks

Speaking at a news briefing today, China Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hong Lei said claims that China was behind the hacks, which occurred in 2007 and 2008, are "untrue". The spokesperson added, according to Reuters, which attended the briefing, that China is "also a victim of hacking attacks and will oppose any form of cybercrime, including hacking".

Last week, the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission wrote in a draft of its annual report that two American satellites, Landsat-7 and Terra AM-1, experienced interference for 12 minutes and nine minutes, respectively, between October 2007 and October 2008.

"The responsible party achieved all steps required to command the satellite," the report reads. However, the commission said, the hackers did not take control of the satellites. "Such interference poses numerous potential threats, particularly if achieved against satellites with more sensitive functions," according to the report. "Access to a satellite's controls could allow an attacker to damage or destroy the satellite. An attacker could also deny or degrade as well as forge or otherwise manipulate the satellite's transmission."