FBI director claims Chinese hackers are preparing to attack US infrastructure

Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Photo: EPA / MICHAEL REYNOLDS

FBI Director Christopher Wray said last night that hackers linked to the Chinese government had penetrated critical US infrastructure and were waiting for "the right moment to strike a devastating blow".

China's ongoing cybercrime campaign, known as the "Volt Typhoon," has successfully accessed countless U.S. companies in telecommunications, energy, utilities and other critical sectors, with 23 pipeline operators additionally targeted, Ray noted.

Speaking at a defense event at Vanderbilt University, the FBI chief said China is developing "the ability to physically wreak havoc on our critical infrastructure whenever it wants." "It plans to hit below the belt on civilian infrastructure to try to cause panic," he added.

Ray said it was difficult to determine the intentions of China's actions in cyberspace, but they were consistent with Beijing's broader intent to deter the United States in defending Taiwan.

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