FBI Claims Chinese Hackers Infiltrate and Prepare to Attack US Infrastructure

FBI Director Christopher Wray raised alarm on Thursday, stating that hackers with ties to the Chinese government have infiltrated critical U.S. infrastructure and are poised to strike at a moment’s notice.

The FBI chief disclosed that a sustained hacking effort known as Volt Typhoon, believed to be backed by the Chinese government, has breached multiple American corporations in vital industries such as telecommunications, energy, and water. Wray highlighted that 23 pipeline operators have been targeted by these cyberattacks, underscoring the potential for a significant impact.

During his address at the 2024 Vanderbilt Summit on Modern Conflict and Emerging Threats, Wray emphasized China’s capacity to disrupt crucial infrastructure intentionally, paving the way for widespread panic. He mentioned the challenge in deciphering the exact motives behind this cyber pre-positioning, which appears consistent with China’s wider strategy to dissuade U.S. intervention in Taiwan.

A recent statement from a Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson sought to distance the government from the Volt Typhoon, depicting it as the work of a rogue ransomware group. The Chinese Embassy in Washington echoed this sentiment, highlighting U.S. efforts to pin cyberattacks on China as a deflective tactic to mask its own culpability and politicize cybersecurity matters.

Wray highlighted the intricate web of botnets through which Chinese hackers operate, leveraging compromised personal computers and servers globally to cloak their malicious activities. Various reports from American cybersecurity entities and major tech firms, including Microsoft and Google, have previously linked Volt Typhoon to China.