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China calls NYT hack accusation 'groundless' as Symantec deflects blame for intrusion

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The New York Times HQ logo (1020)
The New York Times HQ logo (1020)

China is staunchly denying a report from The New York Times that suggests its military colluded with hackers to launch a four-month cyber attack against the US newspaper. Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei took a harsh tone in responding to the NYT's accusations. "The competent Chinese authorities have already issued a clear response to the groundless accusations made by The New York Times," he told reporters earlier today. "To arbitrarily assert and to conclude without hard evidence that China participated in such hacking attacks is totally irresponsible. The intrusion, which has been described as consistent with other hacks supposedly led by the Chinese military, targeted a journalist responsible for authoring a report analyzing the family wealth of prime minister Wen Jiabao.

Additionally, security firm Symantec isn't pleased with the Times for implying that its antivirus software was an unreliable, essentially useless defense against the hackers. In a statement released today, the company emphasized that it's critical for major media corporations like The New York Times to harness "the full capability" of its security offerings. "Turning on only the signature-based anti-virus components of endpoint solutions alone are not enough in a world that is changing daily from attacks and threats," the statement reads, concluding again that "anti-virus software alone is not enough." The Times report says Symantec's software caught just one instance of malware on its systems when in fact 45 pieces of software would later be discovered.