Chinese military stands up new cyber war unit

China’s government announced a major reorganization within the People’s Liberation Army last month that created a dedicated cyber and electronic warfare group within the newly formed Strategic Support Forces.

The reorganization also renamed the Second Artillery Corps, China’s strategic and conventional missiles forces, and set up a dedicated space warfare group.

The Strategic Support Forces, like the Second Artillery, will remain a separate branch of the PLA, along with the army, navy and airforce, and its new commander is Gen. Wei Fenghe, current Second Artillery commander.

The cyber warfare group is known as the Electronic and Information Warfare unit that is made up of the Third Department of the General Staff Department, known as 3PLA, the main military cyber intelligence service. Other regional technical reconnaissance bureaus that are engaged in aggressive cyber operations against the United States will be part of the unit.

The other units are the Missile Unit and the Space Unit. The space group is said to be involved in China’s high-technology hypersonic weapons program, including the DF-ZF hypersonic glide vehicle that was test six times last year. The maneuvering high-speed glider flies along the edge of space and is designed to penetrate U.S, missile defenses with a nuclear warhead. It travels at speeds of up to 7,500 miles per hour.

Chinese Internet reports said the cyber warfare group will be headed by Lt. Gen. Wu Guohua, current deputy commander of the Second Artillery Corps.

Wu has been dubbed the “Confucius general” and is linguists who graduated from the PLA Foreign Languages Institute, and received a doctorate from the Pushkin State Russian Language Institute in Moscow.

Cyber Threat Briefs
Jan. 2, 2015