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U.S. officials say China’s long-term cyber strategy targets critical infrastructure

  • U.S. officials say China’s long-term cyber strategy targets critical infrastructure
    Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and Wray announce charges against Chinese government hackers, December 20, 2018
    Credit: U.S. Department of Justice

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Recent revelations by FBI Director Christopher Wray underscore a concerning reality: China’s cyber infiltration of critical U.S. infrastructure dates back over a decade, informs Voice of America. Wray’s remarks, made at a Vanderbilt University security conference, shed light on China-sponsored hackers' sophisticated tactics aimed at key sectors of the American economy.

Last February US authorities accused “Volt Typhoon”, a group of hackers allegedly linked to the Chinese government of targeting American civilian critical infrastructure. Central to these operations is the tactic of "living off the land," where hackers stealthily establish access to systems, lying in wait for opportune moments to strike.

Also speaking at the same conference, General Timothy Haugh, head of the National Security Agency and U.S. Cyber Command, highlighted China’s deliberate campaign to challenge the U.S. and its allies technologically, placing critical systems and infrastructure at risk.

Moreover, a recent threat assessment by the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency corroborates that China is using its capabilities to "to lay the groundwork for malicious cyber activities and cyberattacks."

Chinese officials deny any involvement with Volt Typhoon. A Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson accused U.S. intelligence and cybersecurity agencies of circulating fake information regarding China's cyber activities "to secure increased congressional budgets and government contracts."

This information comes after news of a group of hackers linked to the Russian government being behind a cyber attack on a Texas water facility last January, and a joint call from the EPA and the White House on state Governors to strengthen cyber security measures in water and wastewater systems.

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