US rejects China involvement in Sony cyberattack

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The US State Department on Monday basically rejected a US Senator's claim that China knew about or was involved in the cyberattack against Sony Pictures.

China says no role in Sony hacking

The poster for the film "The Interview" is seen outside the Alamo Drafthouse theater in Littleton, Colorado Dec. 23, 2014. [Photo/Agencies]

US State Department spokesman Jeff Rathke said in a daily press briefing that the US government stands behind an FBI report which held the Democratic People's Republic of Korea solely responsible for the hacking of Sony Pictures.

"I can't imagine anything this massive happening in North Korea without China being involved or at least knowing about it," Senator Lindsey Graham, a Republican from South Carolina, told CNN's Dana Bash on "State of the Union" on Sunday. Graham called for additional US action against the regime to make it "feel the pain that is due".

Jonathan Pollack, senior fellow at the John L. Thornton China Center of the Washington-based Brookings Institution, said Graham was making a serious charge without any evidence.

"I have no idea why Senator (Lindsay) Graham would suggest that China was somehow involved in the cyberattack on Sony Pictures," Pollack told China Daily. "He is making a serious charge without offering any evidence at all to substantiate his claim. It's more what he believes rather than what he knows. His remarks are decidedly unhelpful in addressing the cyber threat increasingly prevalent in the corporate world."

Graham, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee member, said President Barack Obama should put the DPRK back on the list of state sponsors of terrorism, something Obama is reviewing.

"What's happened here it shows how exposed we are in America to cyberattack," Graham said. "If North Korea can do this to a major corporation in America, what can other people do to our country."

China's Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying made the comment on Monday after CNN reported that the senator in South Carolina claimed China participated in the alleged cyber attack on Sony Pictures.

"China never allows any foreign country or individual to carry out cyber attacks from Chinese soil or by using Chinese facilities. Such behavior, if discovered, will be dealt with severely in accordance with law," she said.

The sanator's remarks are neither conducive to resolving the problems nor strengthening mutual trust and cooperation on cyber security, Hua said.

The FBI report determined that the DPRK was behind the attack on Sony Pictures amid plans to release The Interview, a fictional movie about an assassination plot against DPRK leader Kim Jong-un. The FBI added that it did not suspect any other country was involved in the attack.


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