For the first time ever, China has admitted that it has poured tens of millions into the formation of a commando unit of 30 cyberwarriors called The Blue Army. The team is reportedly trained to improve the security of the country's military forces and to protect the People's Liberation Army from outside assault on its networks.
"The Internet has no boundaries, so we can't say which country or organization will be our enemy and who will attack us," Xu Guangyu, a senior researcher of the government-backed China Arms Control and Disarmament Association, said according to The Australian. "The Blue Army's main target is self-defense. We won't initiate an attack on anyone."
Xu was also very modest about the group's abilities. "I don't think our Blue Army's skills are too backward compared to those of other countries." The cyber-warfare team was recently tasked with a simulated cyberbattle to defend China's military networks against a series of viruses, junk mail attacks, and stealth cyber intrusions attempting to steal top secret information on troop deployments hidden within government networks. The attacking force was four times the size of the Blue Army, but the latter group emerged victorious. I would argue that very few other countries can claim a similar feat.
The Blue Army is believed to have been officially formed two years ago but has existed in some form for a decade. It is currently under the Guangdong Military Command and was supposedly established for defensive purposes. Unsurprisingly, many believe that The Blue Army is responsible for the various cyber attacks around the world that have been traced back to China.
The news comes less than two weeks after the US disclosed its International Strategy for Cyberspace. The document revealed the US government could respond to cyber-attacks with military force, especially if someone were to pull off a serious cyberspace hack against the US, its allies, its partners, or in a way to threaten its interests.