Beijing: Days after it was accused of hacking networks of 72 major global entities, including the Indian government, China on Tuesday said it was also a victim of nearly five lakh cases of cyber snooping, half of them originated from countries like the US and India.

China's claim followed a report by US-based security firm McAfee which said hackers were found to have broken into networks of the 72 major organisations around the world, including the governments of India, US, South Korea, Vietnam,
ASEAN, IOC and the world anti-doping agency, with security experts pointing to China as the culprit.

Most of the attacks came in the form of malicious "Trojan" software used by hackers to gain access to target computers, a report issued by the National Computer Network Emergency Response Coordination Centre of China, the primary computer security monitoring network.

It said 14.7 per cent of the malicious programs came from Internet Protocol addresses (IPs) located in the US, with another eight per cent located in India, according to the reports.

China's computer security agency, however, made no reference to recent report by McAfee.  The agency said, "China suffered about 493,000 cyber attacks last year, about half of which originated from abroad, particularly the United States and India."

China, which has 485 million internet users, is the country with world's largest online population and has long been accused of spearheading cyber snooping on government agencies and companies across the world.

"The cyber snooping appears to have been going on for several years," the McAfee report had said, tracing the hacking to at least one "state actor" behind the attack, but declined to name it, though the security experts said the evidence pointed to China.

China in the past has consistently denied state patronage to any such cyber attacks stating that hacker attacks are an international issue and it is also a victim of it.

"To put all the blame on China is unacceptable. The Chinese government pay a great attention to cyber security and administer internet according to law," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei had told media recently while refuting allegations of Chinese hacker attacks on personal Gmail accounts of hundreds of users including, senior US government officials and Chinese political activists.

"The so called statement that the Chinese government support hacker attacks is totally a fabrication out of nothing and made out of ulterior motives," he said.

The Chinese military had set up "Online Blue Army", a dedicated internet network aimed at beefing up its internet security while asserting that it was not aimed at carrying out cyber wars.

(Agencies)