FBI Chief Warns Xi Jinping's CCP-Linked Chinese Hackers Are Planning To 'Physically Wreak Havoc' On US Infrastructure

In a recent development, Xi Jinping‘s Communist Party of China-linked hackers have allegedly infiltrated U.S. critical infrastructure. FBI Director Christopher Wray has issued a stark warning, raising concerns about a potential impending attack.

What Happened: The hackers have reportedly gained access to several U.S. companies in sectors such as telecommunications, energy, and water, Reuters reported on Thursday. Wray revealed this information during a speech at Vanderbilt University on Thursday, where he also highlighted the targeting of 23 pipeline operators.

Wray warned that China is developing the “ability to physically wreak havoc on our critical infrastructure at a time of its choosing,” Wray said at the 2024 Vanderbilt Summit on Modern Conflict and Emerging Threats.

“Its plan is to land low blows against civilian infrastructure to try to induce panic.”

Wray expressed concern about China’s ability to cause significant damage to U.S. infrastructure at a time of its choosing. He believes this is part of China’s broader strategy to deter the U.S. from defending Taiwan.

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Despite the difficulty in determining the intent of this cyber pre-positioning, Wray believes it is linked to China’s efforts to deter the U.S. from defending Taiwan, a democratic island that China claims as its own.

Earlier, a Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson had denied any government involvement in the hacking campaign, attributing it to a criminal ransomware group.

Why It Matters: This incident follows a series of warnings from U.S. authorities about the increasing cyber threat from China. In February, Wray had warned about China’s covert placement of offensive malware in U.S. critical infrastructure networks, calling it a national security threat.

Moreover, the FBI had also cautioned about the potential rise of “cyber-physical attacks” driven by artificial intelligence, which could pose a significant threat to critical infrastructure, raising concerns that the integration of AI into cyberattacks could lead to a new era of “cyber-physical attacks.”

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Image created via Stable Diffusion

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