China, often linked to alleged cyberattacks, is apparently training military forces on digital combat and "informationalized" war.
According to state-sponsored news agency Xinhua, the People's Liberation Army plans to launch digital war games next month focused on developing new combat forces that specialize in cyberwarfare.
The news agency says this will be the first time the army "has focused on combat forces including digitalized units, special operations forces, army aviation and electronic counter forces." Drills will be carried out late next month at the Zhurihe training base in northern China.
The army's general staff department said eight military academies and forces from the Beijing Military Area Command will participate in the exercises.
In March, the Pentagon warned China to cease a cyberespionage campaign against the U.S., which allegedly involves Chinese hackers stealing intellectual property "on an unprecedented scale." The demand came after security firm Mandiant released a report that claimed an "overwhelming percentage" of cyberattacks on U.S. corporations, government agencies, and organizations originate from China.
A confidential U.S. Defense Science Board report for the Pentagon recently alleged that Chinese hackers have managed to expose and potentially steal data relating to U.S. advanced military weapons and systems. The report said that over two dozen weapon system designs were compromised and may have been stolen in order to jump-start the development of Chinese military technology.
In Australia, ABC television reported that hackers originating from China have stolen floor plans relating to a new headquarters for the Australian Security Intelligence Organization.