via Defence Web
China’s military has established a 30-person strong Internet security task force to protect China from cyber attacks. State media today reported that the ‘Blue Army’ was not intended to create a hacker force and would be used solely for defensive purposes.
AFP reports that the People’s Liberation Army has invested tens of millions of yuan in the cyber warfare project.
“Cyber attacks have become an international problem affecting both civilian and military areas,” the Global Times quoted China’s defence ministry spokesman Geng Yansheng at a briefing this week.
“China is relatively weak in cyber-security and has often been targeted. This temporary programme is aimed at improving our defences against such attacks,” Yansheng said.
The ‘Cyber Blue Team’ falls under the Guangdong military command in southern China, and will carry out “cyber-warfare drills”, the Global Times said.
The establishment of the cyber warfare unit has caused concern in many Western countries, such as the United States, Australia and Germany, which accuse China of being behind high profile hacking events.
In February US cyber firm McAfee, which markets anti-virus products, said that Chinese hackers had infiltrated the networks of oil companies around the world, stealing financial documents and other sensitive information.
Meanwhile, WikiLeaks has published US diplomatic cables that reveal the United State’s belief that China was behind hacking against search giant Google and Western governments. One cable says the US embassy in Beijing learnt from a Chinese contact that the government was behind hacks into the computers of the United States, its allies and the Dalai Lama.