Washington — Hackers
supported by the Chinese authorities
FBI Director Christopher Wray warned Congress on Wednesday that foreign hackers are specifically focusing on American water treatment facilities and power grids, deliberately placing themselves in essential infrastructure networks in order to inflict chaos and harm on US citizens and communities.
Wray emphasized in his statement to the House Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party that there has been insufficient attention given to the fact that PRC hackers are actively targeting our crucial infrastructure. He stressed the urgency of addressing this threat for the safety of all Americans.
The director of the FBI and other top officials in national security, such as Jen Easterly who heads the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, are giving testimony at a congressional hearing that centers on the cyber threats presented by the government of China.
In recent years, there has been an increase in military actions by Beijing near the island, which they claim is due to “collusion” between Taiwan and the U.S.
The naval port in Guam would play a critically important role in launching any U.S. military response in the event of a Taiwanese invasion. Microsoft noted at the time that Chinese intelligence and military hackers routinely prioritize espionage and the gathering of information.
Officials from the National Security Agency (NSA) cautioned that the PRC’s deployment of Volt Typhoon may be intended to divert the attention of the U.S. during any potential conflict involving Taiwan.
According to Rob Joyce, the cybersecurity director at NSA, this strategy is distinct because it involves positioning resources on important infrastructure and military networks in order to have control over when and where they can cause disruption. The goal of this is to hinder our ability to assist military operations or divert our attention away from international issues by causing a domestic incident. Joyce also mentioned that China does not want us to focus on the foreign aspects of this tactic.
Morgan Adamski, the chief of the NSA’s Cybersecurity Collaboration Center, emphasized that the reason for a whole-of-government approach is because all sectors may be at risk and affected by cyber attacks. Therefore, it is crucial for everyone to work together in a coordinated effort to mitigate these threats.
Joyce stated that the government is actively working to persuade China’s leaders to refrain from attacking civilian targets.
“We need to reach a point where the leaders of the PRC make the decision that being exposed for this behavior is not acceptable to the global community. It is unacceptable to put innocent civilians in danger through cyber attacks,” he stated.
In the beginning of this month, the FBI and CISA released a recent notification, cautioning that drones made in China, known as UAS, present a noteworthy danger to essential infrastructure and the security of the United States.
According to the bulletin, utilizing drones made in China for important infrastructure tasks puts confidential data at risk of being accessed by Chinese government officials. This could potentially threaten US national security, economic stability, and the well-being of the public.
Other top public officials, like Attorney General Merrick Garland, have also warned of the threat China’s government poses to Americans’ well being, economic prosperity and innovation. In the last year, the Justice Department has announced novel cases calling out Chinese chemical companies for aiding the fentanyl epidemic and secret Chinese police stations working to quiet Chinese dissidents living in the U.S.
On Wednesday, Wray addressed Congress and stated that our economic stability is constantly under attack. He also mentioned that there is a widespread theft of our ideas, as well as our personal and business information. These attacks aim to limit our freedoms and extend beyond our borders to intimidate and control both citizens and residents.
The spokesperson for the Chinese embassy, Liu Pengyu, stated that the Chinese government has consistently opposed hacking attacks and the misuse of technology. According to Pengyu, although the United States possesses advanced cyber technology, they have been guilty of engaging in hacking and eavesdropping activities more than other countries. Pengyu urged the U.S. to refrain from making unfounded criticisms against other nations regarding cybersecurity.
1st-ever human rights investigation into
The 1st-ever human rights investigation was launched by the Justice Department last year.
To focus on competing countries such as China that attempt to exploit American technological advancements in order to jeopardize national security and disrupt legal systems.
American officials are increasing their focus on how foreign enemies attempt to utilize investments as a means of obtaining American technology and data. In February, Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco announced a new initiative within the department, stating that the Biden administration is exploring ways to allow federal regulators to track the transfer of American funds into foreign technology industries. This is in order to ensure that these funds do not serve the national security agendas of other countries, specifically China.