Friday, April 10, 2009

China denies hacking into US power grid - - 9 Apr 09

BEIJING--China denied Thursday a media report that Chinese and Russian hackers had attempted to plant viruses in the US power grid, while insisting it was the victim of cyberattacks.

The Wall Street Journal, quoting US intelligence officials, Wednesday reported that cyber-spies were hacking into the power systems to seed viruses that could eventually be activated and plunge major cities into chaos.

"There's absolutely no substance in this story about China and Russia attacking the US power grid, so I hope the relevant US press can truthfully handle their reports, particularly about China," Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu told reporters.

"China is also the victim of cyber-attacks and is willing to enhance its cooperation with the international community."

The Wall Street Journal said the cyber-spies last year repeatedly gained access to the US system powering everything from financial institutions to sewerage systems.

"The Chinese have attempted to map our infrastructure, such as the electrical grid," the US daily said, quoting an unidentified senior intelligence official. "So have the Russians."

While no damage was caused, investigators found time-bomb style viruses sown into the system, it reported. "If we go to war with them, they will try to turn them on," the official was quoted as saying.

US Department of Homeland Security spokeswoman Amy Kudwa said she was "not aware of any disruption to the power grid."

However, she acknowledged that "cyber-attacks are made all the time."

By Agence France-Presse

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