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United States warns of China hacking threat to its water and energy sectors

  • United States warns of China hacking threat to its water and energy sectors

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The US authorities have accused a group of hackers allegedly linked to the Chinese government of launching a massive cyberattack against several strategic targets, including the US water, transportation and energy sectors, according to a press statement released by the U.S. Department of Justice.

According to various media sources, Beijing has been quick to deny any involvement in the case. The group, identified as 'Volt Typhoon', allegedly tried to introduce malware into "hundreds" of home and small business routers that, due to their age, no longer supported new updates that were supposed to protect them from such actions, according to the FBI and the US Department of Justice.

“China’s hackers are targeting American civilian critical infrastructure, pre-positioning to cause real-world harm to American citizens and communities in the event of conflict,” said FBI Director Christopher Wray. “Volt Typhoon malware enabled China to hide as they targeted our communications, energy, transportation, and water sectors,” said FBI Director Christopher Wray.

Wray also warned Congress that Chinese hackers are trying to break into US networks to prepare the ground in case "China decides it's time to attack".

Attorney General Merrick B. Garland highlighted in the statement that "The United States will continue to dismantle malicious cyber operations – including those sponsored by foreign governments – that undermine the security of the American people.”

The FBI is providing notice of the court-authorized operation to all owners or operators of SOHO routers that were infected with the KV Botnet malware and remotely accessed pursuant to the operation. 

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