WASHINGTON, D.C. – FBI Director Christopher Wray addressed the House Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party, where he issued a warning about the escalating threat of Chinese cyberattacks against U.S. critical infrastructure, such as electrical grids and water treatment plants. Wray emphasized the need for immediate attention to address this growing security risk posed by Chinese hackers.
During the hearing, Wray also revealed that the FBI, in coordination with the Justice Department, had successfully disabled a Chinese hacking operation that targeted hundreds of small office and home routers, using botnet malware to infiltrate critical infrastructure. This operation, known as “Volt Typhoon,” was a part of a larger Chinese cyber espionage campaign against the U.S. and other foreign entities.
The Director of the federal Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, Jen Easterly, also testified at the hearing, expressing concerns about potential Chinese influence campaigns targeting the 2024 election. She assured the public that efforts have been made to defend and secure voting systems and other election infrastructure from foreign interference.
Wray’s testimony highlighted the extensive and persistent nature of Chinese cyberattacks, emphasizing that these hackers are not only focused on prepositioning for future conflicts, but are actively targeting U.S. economic security and engaging in the theft of innovation, personal data, and corporate information. He also drew attention to the fact that these cyber intrusions also extend to threatening the freedoms of American citizens and residents.
This latest warning from Wray comes on the heels of increasing incidents involving China-linked hackers breaching U.S. government email accounts and targeting high-profile individuals, raising concerns about the scale and impact of Chinese government hacking capabilities.
As the U.S. continues to face these cyber threats from China, cybersecurity agencies and law enforcement are working diligently to counter malicious activities and protect critical infrastructure from ongoing cyber intrusions. With the rise of such threats, it is apparent that a concerted effort is needed to address the growing cybersecurity challenges posed by foreign adversaries.