(NEW YORK) -- China is denying accusations by The New York Times that hackers in the country repeatedly infiltrated the newspaper's computer systems over the past four months.
The Times reported on Wednesday that Chinese hackers stole reporters' passwords and broke into the e-mail accounts of its Shanghai and South Asia bureau chiefs.
"The timing of the attacks coincided with the reporting for a Times investigation, published online on Oct. 25, that found that the relatives of Wen Jiabao, China’s prime minister, had accumulated a fortune worth several billion dollars through business dealings," the newspaper said.
The paper said it hired security experts, who found that the hackers used methods similar to ones that have been linked before to the Chinese military.
Speaking to reporters Thursday, Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said, "To rashly jump to conclusions based on investigation results, which have not been proved by evidence is totally irresponsible behavior."
"China is also a victim of cyber-attacks," he added. "Chinese laws specifically stipulate that cyber-attacks are prohibited."
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio