Describing him as a loyal “government soldier,” the Chinese government’s Global Times newspaper has praised the actions of accused hacker Su Bin for his part in allegedly hacking secrets from several U.S. defense contractors. Although the government line is to continue denying having anything to do with the attack, the paper stated that Bin’s actions should be praised, whether he is found guilty or innocent.
Having spent some time in Canada fighting extradition, Su Bin was eventually brought into custody and sent to the U.S. after striking a deal whereby if he pleaded guilty, he would receive no more than five years in jail for the hack. Purportedly having taken place between 2009 and 2013, Bin and two accomplices are said to have stolen and then attempted to sell on secrets to Chinese companies, which related to the F-22, F-35, and C-17 military aircraft.
Despite continued claims that the government had no idea what Bin was up to though, the Global Times editorial does paint Bin in a fair light, as reported by BetaNews. It suggests that if he is guilty as charged, then China should show its gratitude and respect.
“Be he recruited by the Chinese government or driven by economic benefits, we should give him credit for what he is doing for the country.”
The piece also makes several references to a “secret war” and “war without gunpowder” between the United States and China. Indeed while little is said publicly from either side — except to decry the other — both are thought to be involved in regular digital espionage against one another.
Although China does appear to be admitting its part in some digital spying, it uses the opportunity to attack the U.S. and extol its own virtues. It suggests that while America kicks up a fuss about human rights records when it slips up and its spies are caught, China keeps much quieter in comparison.
The Chinese government also played down its hacking abilities, suggesting that the U.S., CIA and NSA were much more capable at hacking other countries around the world.