A recently published report suggests that China has been escalating its cyber attacks, with a more extensive strategy aimed at undermining the United States through hacking. According to findings by the Washington Post, suspected state-sponsored Chinese hackers may have infiltrated over two dozen systems in the past year. Analysts posit that this could be a strategic move by China to potentially disrupt or, in more severe scenarios, compromise American commerce and infrastructure in the event of a conflict arising from tensions over Taiwan.
According to News Nation, the hackers are allegedly targeting critical infrastructure such as water utility in Hawaii, a port on the West Coast and some oil and gas pipelines, the report said.
Chinese hackers have even been accused of trying to bust into the Texas power grid over the past summer, according to the Washington Post.
American cyber security officials believe some of this activity is part of a state-sponsored Chinese operation called Volt Typhoon. An advisory went out about this back in May.
Microsoft even posted that it found evidence of Volt Typhoon in Guam, which is the closest U.S. territory to Taiwan.
What the hackers are trying to do is get into these systems without being noticed and wait for vulnerable moments, watching and gathering information. Then, when the moment is right, the hackers attack the U.S. systems with ransomware.
The Washington Post reported that experts believe it could even coincide with airstrikes or missile launches with the intent to slow down and cripple the U.S. response to conflict overseas.
But it’s important to understand that the idea that China has been trying to hack U.S. infrastructure isn’t new. The challenge now is how the U.S. can catch up.