Nov 16 2008
According to news.ifeng, an unidentified PLA armor brigade was the victim of a computer virus that caused electronic ammunition resupply orders to show up blank. During the force-on-force, Red and Blue exercise, operations were hampered due to a computer virus that left the main attack force without ammunition resupply.
During the exercise, the Red Army basic command post, command and control station, received information from the main attack force that 3/4 of their ammunition had been depleted. A resupply order was immediately sent to the rear command post. However, after transmission, the order form appeared blank.
Ten minutes later, the main attack force once again sent a request for ammunition resupply. They were told to wait, that the request for resupply had already been processed. In the end, the main attack force had no hope of getting their ammunition. The ammunition was exhausted, people died and the exercise was lost.
NOTE: When the article states that people died, they are speaking in terms of the exercise. There were no actual fatalities.
It was later determined that the exercise failure was brought on by unpatched computer terminals that allowed a virus into the system. In response, the armor brigade established a comprehensive network security group and procedures for handling computer security issues.
Li Jintai, the commander of the armor brigade, located in the Guangzhou Military Region, commented, “when you sharpen your sword, you must not forget to cast your shield.” Commander Li further stated, “Due to patches not being installed, the infecting virus led to the failure of the exercise and this sounded alarm bells for us. When you sharpen your sword, you must not forget to cast your shield. Network technology provides the prerequisite for ‘informationized’ combat, it raises command efficiency. However, if there is insufficient importance attached to information security, a lack of network defense consciousness and methodology, it can leave a crack that your adversary can take advantage of and lead to grave consequences.”
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