With increasing numbers of cyberattacks targeting Taiwan, the US and Japan being traced back to China, the government has increased its budget for cyberwarfare capabilities, the Ministry of National Defense (MND) said in a report on Friday.
While implementing cuts in personnel from all other military departments and branches to lower expenditures for the future implementation of a voluntary military service, the ministry is expanding its Communication Electronics and Information Bureau (CEIB) to include a specialist group for electronic and Internet warfare.
The ministry is also planning to establish an “experimental facility for simulated cyberwarfare” to further raise the cyberwarfare capabilities of the military, the ministry said.
According to the ministry’s recently released estimate of the military capabilities of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), Chinese geostrategy and war emphasize superiority in cyberwarfare and the capability to launch countermeasures against a stronger enemy.
The development of the PLA’s cyberwarfare capabilities reflects the leading school of thought of asymmetrical warfare in Chinese military, the report said.
Formed and supported by both the military and its governmental administrative agencies, the Chinese cyberwarfare unit not only targets open Web sites related to Taiwan’s political, economic and military sectors, but also uses computer viruses and hackers to steal, change, delete or incapacitate Taiwan’s network, the report said.
The Chinese cyberwarfare unit also draws talent from its civilian sectors and is capable of launching a strong attack over the Internet, the report said.
The report also says that the US’ only military estimate on the PLA says that cyberattacks on governmental networks across the globe — including the US — have almost all been traced back to China, adding that the attacks were attempts to steal internal information.
The number of attacks has grown and there are no signs of lessening, the US report said.
Aside from boosting its cyberwarfare capabilities, the report also says that China is also stepping up deployment of new devices to its bases and armed forces to enhance its electronic warfare capabilities.
Aside from deploying new communication jamming systems to its bases, the PLA is also fielding airborne early-warning and control planes, anti-radiation unmanned attack aircraft and anti-radiation missiles — missiles designed to home in on enemy sources of radio emissions — to preserve combat capabilities in a combat environment affected by electronagnetic pulse (EMP) attacks, the report said.
Meanwhile, the National Security Bureau said in its budget estimate for next year that parts of its network had been attacked more than 1 million times by hackers from the January through June.
Taiwan’s information security and protection systems had been successful in detecting and repelling all cyberattacks, the bureau said.
Both the ministry and the bureau have sent their budget estimates to the Legislative Yuan, and the ministry also included with its budget estimate its plans for military deployment over the next five years.