What many have believed for a long time has been confirmed. “Blue Army”, a Chinese military unit of highly-skilled hackers, exists as a cyberwarfare powerhouse to protect attacks on Chinese government technology systems.
With funding in the “tens of millions of dollars” and boasting 30+ soldiers, Blue Army poses a threat to countries across the globe as the increasingly aggressive Chinese government moves to stake its claim as a powerhouse online and off. As with so many other things that China is able to dominate, it’s a matter of size and population according to a former PLA general.
“It is just like ping-pong. We have more people playing it, so we are very good at it,” he said.
The organization, which has officially formed 2 years ago but has existed in some form for a decade, claims to exist for defensive reasons only.
According to Xu Guangyu, senior researcher for the China Arms Control and Disarmament Association, “The internet has no boundaries, so we can’t say which country or organisation will be our enemy and who will attack us. The Blue Army’s main target is self-defence. We won’t initiate an attack on anyone.”
Blue Army was recently tested on their abilities during a simulated massive cyberattack by a team 4-times its size. In the simulation, the team faced viruses, junk mail attacks, and stealth missions attempting to steal top secret information on troop deployments hidden within government networks. Blue Army defeated the simulation, according to a report in the PLA Daily.
According to Xu, “I don’t think our Blue Army’s skills are too backward compared to those of other countries.”