Beijing, Jun 17: Chinese defence analysts warned that the lack of preparation against cyber terrorism has left the country 'extremely vulnerable', to it.
"In the age of information, a nation's security would be at serious risk if its information systems were attacked, or the flow of information were interrupted," said Yu Xiaofeng, a specialist in non-traditional security at Zhejiang University.
While major nations, including the United States are pumping million of dollars into upgrading defence systems to make them digital fortresses, China is lagging far behind. It could have some serious national security implications, he said.
"In a worse-case scenario, a security breach could result in the breakdown of the energy supply and collapse of the financial system, not to mention a collapse of the national defence capability," China Daily quoted Yu, as saying.
China's reluctance to merge its military and civilian resources, partly because the former believes it would substantially weaken the defense of its network, has been heavily criticized.
"The military's separate network has so far been safe from any infiltrations, but such safety can make a military complacent to future tactics," said Fang, president of Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications.
Another expert Fang Xingdong, a Beijing-based IT industry observer, added: "Some Chinese military officials still hold dear to the belief that there is no danger of war in cyberspace."
The central government has set up anti-hacking offices at security and industry ministries, mainly to tackle online financial crimes and industrial espionage, but there is so far no liaison office watching over cyber-security surveillance.
Fang Binxing, meanwhile, warned that the lack of urgency in updating its digital defense structure or cooperating with industry leaders over advanced technology had left some divisions of the PLA open to attack, particularly the air force, which relies heavily on electronic communication.
"It is a dangerous paradox. China's resources heavily rely on the Internet, but it is still desperately in need of an effective defensive system," he said.