FBI Chief Warns Of Chinese Cyber Threat To US Infrastructure

FBI Director Christopher Wray spoke at Vanderbilt University recently and warned that Chinese hackers known as “Volt Typhoon” have infiltrated U.S. infrastructure waiting to strike.

The hackers have gained access to organizations in the energy, water, telecommunications, and transportation industries and are targeting as many as 23 pipeline operators.

Many have speculated that this has been happening for a long time, and some have pointed to an unusual number of incidents involving power issues with water vessels that are hitting U.S. bridges as potential impacts of the hacker group.

Infrastructure has been an issue in the forefront of people’s minds for years. But the general demand is rebuilt infrastructure, and there has evidently been insufficient funding to protect vulnerable U.S. infrastructure from potential cyber attacks.

Director Wray emphasized that China’s cyber intrusions go beyond gaining economic advantages or engaging in espionage. He suggests that the Chinese government is positioning itself to cause significant physical damage to U.S. infrastructure at a time of its choosing.

By targeting civilian infrastructure China aims to sow panic and undermine America’s resolve altogether and especially in relation to ongoing tensions surrounding Taiwan.

Volt Typhoon employs a vast network of compromised computers and servers worldwide to mask their activities and make it difficult for cybersecurity experts to trace the origins of their attacks. But researchers from leading technology companies like Microsoft and Google have independently identified links between the hacking group and the Chinese government.

A spokesperson from the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs has denied any connection between Volt Typhoon and the Chinese government, claiming that the group is a criminal ransomware organization.