Canada publicly charged China of hacking into its National Research Council, but the Asian country is denying the accusation.
China's Foreign Ministry on Thursday issued a statement saying "the Canadian side, while lacking credible evidence, offered criticism for no reason." The government agency, which handles the country's foreign relations, said the claims made by Canada are "irresponsible," adding that it wants Canada "to correct its mistake."
Canada claimed earlier this week that a "highly sophisticated Chinese state-sponsored actor" hacked into the IT infrastructure at the National Research Council, which handles Canada's research and development efforts on behalf of its government. Canada said that it isolated the attack to the National Research Council's own servers, and the cyberattack did not extend into the rest of the government's networks.
China has been accused of actively targeting Western governments for years, despite its own claims to the contrary. The country is accused of attempting to, on numerous occasions, access both corporate and government networks around the world. The US Justice Department in May filed charges against five members of the Chinese military for allegedly hacking American corporate networks and stealing information. Earlier this month, the US charged Chinese businessman Su Bin for allegedly hacking Boeing and other US defense contractor networks.
Canada has dealt with cyberattackes before, but this is the first time the government has singled out China as the actor behind the attacks. The country believes it will take a full year to rebuild the IT infrastructure at its National Research Council in order to improve security.
Canada's National Research Council will provide an updated statement on the hack on its website later on Thursday. We will update this story when we have more information.