If the Defense Department’s recent report to Congress on China’s military might is to be believed, the communist nation is going all-out to prepare for future warfare in cyberspace.
According to the report, China’s military has amassed first-strike capabilities that include units tasked with writing malware that can be hurled at enemy computer networks.
“The PLA (People’s Liberation Army) 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,” the report says. “”In 2005, the PLA began to incorporate offensive CNO (computer network operations) into its exercises, primarily in first strikes against enemy networks.”
Fears over state-sponsored cyberattacks grew recently when the Baltic country of Estonia suffered a series of blistering distributed denial-of-service attacks. Experts initially feared the attack was sponsored by Russia, but researchers ultimately determined the onslaught was the handiwork of ragtag groups in command of botnets.