China preps for cyberwarfare

China preps for cyberwarfare

Summary: An annual report on China's military capabilities reveals that the country is eying cyberweapons, network attacks and other plans to wage information warfare.The report from the Department of Defense outlines China's overall military strategy and touches on some aspects of information warfare in a few throwaway paragraphs in a large report.

TOPICS: Hardware, Networking

An annual report on China's military capabilities reveals that the country is eying cyberweapons, network attacks and other plans to wage information warfare.

The report from the Department of Defense outlines China's overall military strategy and touches on some aspects of information warfare in a few throwaway paragraphs in a large report. The report is an interesting read that PCWorld reported yesterday.

Among the key excerpts in the report on China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) and its capabilities:

The PLA is investing in electronic countermeasures, defenses against electronic attack (e.g., electronic and infrared decoys, angle reflectors, and false target generators), and computer network operations (CNO). China’s CNO concepts include computer network attack, computer network defense, and computer network exploitation. The PLA sees CNO as critical to achieving “electromagnetic dominance” early in a conflict. Although there is no evidence of a formal Chinese CNO doctrine, PLA theorists have coined the term “Integrated Network Electronic Warfare” to prescribe the use of electronic warfare, CNO, and kinetic strikes to disrupt battlefield network information systems.

Meanwhile, the weapon of choice for these attacks seems to be the computer virus.

The PLA has established information warfare units to develop viruses to attack enemy computer systems and networks, and tactics and measures to protect friendly computer systems and networks. In 2005, the PLA began to incorporate offensive CNO into its exercises, primarily in first strikes against enemy networks.

To be sure, attacks do seem to surface from China often, but we shouldn't get carried away about the country's information warfare intentions. Rest assured every military operation out there will have a heavy information warfare component in the future.

Topics: Hardware, Networking

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  • Can you say Carnivor?

    Good old USA...
    • No, no I can't.

      I can say "Carnivore" though. :)

      But back to the point, wasn't Carnivore a data collection program to be used by the FBI? That would seem to be quite different from any Chinese offensive "code weapons".
      Hallowed are the Ori
      • Thanks for catching the typo.

        Different, I suppose so but it also shows that the gov isn't "innocent" of using the net to their own purposes.
        • Indeed...

          You'd have to be rather naive to think the US government doesn't already have their own set of code warriors in a room somewhere, probing away at the networks of every other government on the planet, including those of our "allies", looking for weaknesses.
          Hallowed are the Ori

      Here is the URL for this story-- The War Is Approaching Us:

      Here is a little tidbit:

      only with the power that is capable of totally extinguishing Japan and crippling the United States can we win peace; otherwise the Taiwan problem cannot be prolonged for more than 10 years, and there will be war within 10 years!
  • Some would say...

    ... that China has been engaging in cyber-terrorism for years, sub rosa of course. But if they can hunt down, arrest, prosecute and throw in jail supposed "dissidents" via their internet activities, why is it that they can't track down, arrest, prosecute and throw in jail the ones mounting DDOS attacks, hacks, etc. of US interests that have been going on for years? Remember Code Red? How about all of the targeted attacks agains Japan and Korea that originate in China? Why are the Chinese unable to nab these miscreants but anyone posting a blog with the word "Taiwan" in it is nabbed effortlessly?

    Could this be a bit of a "blind eye" for the Chinese to build their cyber terror network while subduing the "dissidents?"
    Confused by religion
    • No blind eye.

      To my untrained eye it would seem that China can catch it's dissidents because they want to stop them and not the virus makers because they support and or control them. We have had cyber wars for years with them for both industrial and govermental secrets why would that be different for virus writers.
      Historically the better virus writers (friday the thirteenth, michaelangilo, ...) have always be shown to be sponsored by some state or another, the russians, Chineese and israelies have all been caught sponsoring virus writers. (The US has never been "caught" yet.) So history repeates itself and there is no reason for us not to suspect that all of these countries and more are not still doing it.
  • They will lose [nt]

  • Time to get ready? I think not.

    The US has for quite sometime been very capable of cyberwarfare and the US Government already has its arsenal already lines up.

    For years the government has been secretly recruiting hackers, many as civilians who are under no real employ currently of the government but many who aren't specifically random malicious that deals have been struck with to avoid prosecution.

    This shouldn't be of any shock to the public however. If you keep an eye on affairs of the hacker world you tend to see prosecutions in the US at a low state compared to early to mid 90's while the US continues agressively to go after foreign hackers and info rings. However sometimes petty things need to be overlooked in the face of the possible greater need.
  • Who is the target?

    You would have to wonder, "Who is the target" of all China's military buildup plans? Since communists are not historically and philosophically defensive, but instead offensive, so there must be a target.

    If you look at China's true enemies, there really aren't any. So as we look at options, the target must be either the US or Taiwan or both since the US is supposed to defend Taiwan in an attack.

    So if the US is the end target of the Chinese military buildup (after all, why go to this extent for cyber warfare unless the target is the US), then one has to wonder why we continue to fund this buildup and treat them as friends. Communism used to be an enemy to fight, but now is a friend to feed.
    • Just yesterday

      Another electronics manufacturing
      company announced they were closing
      shop, making 200 employees unemployed.
      When the mayor tried to discuss the
      possibility of the store remaining in
      the city, company officials were
      adamant, saying, "the lower cost of
      labor in China will give us a higher
      profit margin".
      I wonder how many other companies have
      already done this, and how many
      employees are already unemployed because
      of this currently popular trend?

      Why should China attack the US? And kill
      the goose that is constantly laying
      their "golden eggs"? Why would they want
      to control anyone that is already giving
      them anything they want?
      Ole Man
  • This is not new news - but well reported

    This article is spot on. Winn Schwartau predicted the use of cyber warfare in 1993 when testifying in front of Congress. He shocked participants of an ISC2 event recently by giving the very same presentation he gave in 1992 as he revealed after he spoke. Nothing has changed or improved, in fact much has worsened in both our posture and defense. Information Warfare is an issue govts and critical infrastructure protectors need to be discussing?join us on our blog to do so