According to the China News Service (ECNS), China is a victim in cyberwar and needs to develop a strong security force to defend itself from further attacks. Hence the “Online Blue Army” has been created and is ready for cyber warfare.
Using rhetoric similar to cold war Soviet Union, CNS paints China as the developing nation trying to defend itself against international threats.
When I was a child growing up I heard numerous times that the Soviet Union needed so many nuclear missiles to protect it’s vast land mass from aggressors. Everyone knew though that the large missile stockpile was more of a threat than a safety net. It seems that China may be trying to play the same card.
Granted China has the most internet users, about 485 million. That is a lot of users, especially when compared to the US who sits at #2 with 245 million. The scary part is that the US already has about 80% of our population connected, whilst China is only about 40% connected. And just by shear number of users, would have a large amount of virus infections.
But is China the victim that they claim? ECNS states, “China can be described as merely a computer user with a fairly fragile Internet security system. These are circumstances that cry out for the build up of Internet security forces.”, and, “China is a defender in the cyber war battlefield, fending off the ‘information warfare’ and ‘media warfare’ of others...”
Not likely, China has faced international condemnation from numerous nations that claim China has not only infiltrated key networks, but have exfiltrated government and military secrets. But yet, they claim that the “Online Blue Army” will help defend China’s military internet and that it is only in an “entry level” state:
Li Li, a military expert at the National Defense University, told the People’s Daily that compared with the online military units of Western countries, China’s “Online Blue Army” is currently at its fledging stage, and applied more in online maneuver mode than as an organic, large-scale online army.
Though the article denies that the “Blue Army” tag has any relevance, in military war games the “Red Team” is normally the aggressor force, and the “Blue Team” is usually the defending force or “good guys”.
China already has a very strong cyber capability. I am really not sure what they are trying to prove or who they are trying to deceive by this obvious propaganda piece, but we are not buying it.