Shocking News Out Of China
In a shocking turn of events, China recently admitted they have forces dedicated to carrying out cyber war activities. Not only did China admit they have military and intelligence forces whose purpose is to wage war in the battlefield of ones and zeros, but the amount of forces is also staggering.
Although not normally admitted or proven in public, China has long been known to take part in hacking activities, particularly when it comes to US military and technology secrets. China routinely and publicly denies any such allegations. However, one need only look at China’s stealth fighter, the Shenyang J-31, which looks remarkably like the F-35 stealth fighter developed and produced by America, to see the possibility of Chinese forces stealing information. Coincidence? We’ll let you decide.
How We Learned About It
The specific admission of Chinese forces dedicated to cyber warfare, is contained in an edition of “The Science of Military Strategy”, which is published by the top research arm of the People’s Liberation Army. This admission marks the first time the Chinese government has acknowledged what they have long been suspected of conducting – cyber warfare and hacking. The admission is also sure to cause issue with relations between the US and China. The next time there is an incident that involves stealing data from a US company or citizens, and the activity is tied back to China, the Chinese government will not be able to stick to their usual story. If they do, US politicians can simply hold up an edition of “The Science of Military Strategy” and ask if the Chinese diplomat wants to reconsider his or her response.
You probably don’t want to hold your breath waiting for China to start admitting to cyber warfare type activities though. In fact, in February 2015 they denied having any type of cyber force or command. Even after the US indicted five Chinese military officials for stealing proprietary information from US companies, the Chinese government continued to deny any involvement. This indictment was an unprecedented action by the US and shined an even greater light on activities China had longed been accused of conducting.
China’s Cyber Warriors
For an in-depth study and understanding of Chine’s cyber forces, check out “China’s Evolving Military Strategy” by Joe McReynolds and set to hit book stores in October 2015. In his book, McReynolds describes how China has divided their cyber forces into three categories. First, they have specialized network warfare forces whose mission is to conduct network attacks and defense. China also has an organization of civilian experts who have the authority to carry out attacks. Lastly, they have forces dubbed “external entities” that are outside the government but can be mobilized for cyber war.
Although all this information is coming to light recently, the information has been available for some time. What complicates the release and understanding of the information is how often China releases information. Couple that with the obvious difficulties in translating Chinese, and then double and triple checking information, and it is not hard to understand why the information is slow to make it into the mainstream.
Everyone Does It Though, Right?
Of course, China is not the only country with cyber forces. The US, Russia, and UK are well known for their cyber forces and spy agencies. Even other countries like North Korea and Iran are suspected of taking part in cyber warfare activities. What makes the information about China so interesting and shocking, is how they publicly and adamantly deny any involvement, even in the face of damning evidence and information. Perhaps none of this should shock us though, since almost every government has been known to deny some activity at one time or another, only to later be proven “guilty”.
This information about China will certainly complicate political dealings between the Chinese and other countries like the US and UK. Only time will tell though, if the revelations will have any impact on the dynamics of the political environment and the cyber warfare activities that go on every day, behind the scenes, unbeknownst to many of us.