In a testimony before the House Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party, FBI Director Christopher Wray has issued a stark warning to lawmakers on Wednesday (31 January), shedding light on the intensifying cyber threat posed by China.
Wray emphasised that Chinese hackers are actively targeting crucial elements of the United States' infrastructure, including water, power, oil, gas, and transportation systems, reported Hindustan Times.
He also cautioned that China is prepared to unleash chaos and inflict damage in the event of an attack.
Describing the gravity of the situation, Wray stated, "Chinese hackers are positioning on American infrastructure in preparation to wreak havoc and cause real-world harm to American citizens and communities if and when China decides the time has come to strike."
He further revealed that China has "a bigger hacking programme than that of every major nation combined" and outnumbers the FBI's cyber personnel by a ratio of at least 50-to-1.
Highlighting the severity of China's cyber activities, Wray portrayed them as a "multi-pronged assault on our national and economic security," asserting that it stands as "the defining threat of our generation."
Speaking on Volt Typhoon Malware, he explained that it allows China to "conceal, among other things, its pre-operational reconnaissance and network exploitation against critical infrastructure, like our communications, energy, transportation, and water sectors.”
It's important to note that Wray's comments align with assessments from outside cybersecurity firms, including Microsoft, which said in May earlier that Chinese hackers had been targeting US critical infrastructure and could be laying the technical groundwork for the potential disruption of critical communications between the US and Asia during future crises.
Expressing his concerns, Representative for Florida Mike Waltz responded to Wray's testimony, stating that he harbours no doubt that China's hacking programme is gearing up for the next major world war.
Nayan Dwivedi is Staff Writer at Swarajya.
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