The Chinese military has accused the U.S. of launching a global "Internet war" to bring down Arab and other governments, days after Google traced hacks on the Gmail accounts of U.S. officials to China.
An article signed by Chinese military scholars and using colorful phrasing such as "Internet tornado," according to The Atlantic, is seen as a reaction to accusations from Google this week that computer hackers in China had compromised the personal Gmail accounts of several hundred people, including government officials, military personnel and political activists.
Google traced the origin of the hackings to the city of Jinan, home to a military vocational school whose computers were linked to a more sophisticated assault on Google's systems 17 months ago. China has denied responsibility for the two attacks.
In response to the "phishing" attack, scholars Ye Zheng and Zhao Baoxian — identified as scholars with the Academy of Military Sciences and writing in the Communist Party-controlled China Youth Daily newspaper — urged tougher policing of the Internet.
The scholars did not mention Google's claims, but said recent computer attacks and incidents employing the Internet to promote regime change in Arab nations appeared to have originated with the U.S. government, the AP writes.
"Of late, an Internet tornado has swept across the world ... massively impacting and shocking the globe. Behind all this lies the shadow of America," the scholars wrote. "Faced with this warmup for an Internet war, every nation and military can't be passive but is making preparations to fight the Internet war."