BY Jack Davis, The Western JournalJune 14, 2023
1 year ago
BY 
 | June 14, 2023
1 year ago

Prepare for Chinese Cyber Attacks, US Security Official Reveals in Dire Warning

America’s top cybersecurity official is warning that China’s disruptive cybersecurity capabilities are an “epoch-defining threat.”

During a Monday speech at the Aspen Institute in Washington, D.C., Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency Director Jen Easterly said if war with China approaches, China’s “aggressive cyber operations” would threaten America’s transportation infrastructure “to induce societal panic,” according to CNBC.

Earlier this month, Microsoft warned that “Volt Typhoon, a state-sponsored actor based in China that typically focuses on espionage and information gathering” has been conducting “stealthy and targeted malicious activity focused on post-compromise credential access and network system discovery aimed at critical infrastructure organizations in the United States.”

“I think this is the real threat that we need to be prepared for,” Easterly said, CNBC reported.

“I think that this is the most important issue for anyone who runs or operates critical infrastructure is that we need to be prepared for disruptive attacks. Now, I hope that doesn’t happen.”

Easterly said China will target America’s home front.

"In the event of a conflict, China will almost certainly use aggressive cyber operations to go after our critical infrastructure, to include pipelines and rail lines to delay military deployment and to induce societal panic," she said, according to Voice of America.

"Given the formidable nature of the threat from Chinese state actors, given the size of their capability, given how much resources and effort they're putting into it, it's going to be very, very difficult for us to prevent disruptions from happening."

Easterly said America has some work to do.

"We as an American people need to understand not just cyber resilience, but the imperative of operational resilience and the importance of societal resilience," Easterly said, adding. “I worry, frankly, that we've lost a bit of societal resilience.”

Easterly said China’s strategy has shifted, according to TechMonitor.

“Their focus has been espionage, we’re talking about decades of intellectual property theft and the greatest transfer of intellectual wealth in decades,” she said.

But now, she said, China’s cyber-disruptors focus “less about espionage and more about disruption and destruction."

Easterly’s comments underscore the warning in the 2023 threat assessment prepared by the Office of the Director for National Intelligence.

“China probably currently represents the broadest, most active, and persistent cyber espionage threat to U.S. Government and private-sector networks,” the report said.

The report warned that the first shot in any war with China would come on the cyber battlefield.

“If Beijing feared that a major conflict with the United States were imminent, it almost certainly would consider undertaking aggressive cyber operations against U.S. homeland critical infrastructure and military assets worldwide,” the threat assessment said.

“Such a strike would be designed to deter U.S. military action by impeding U.S. decision-making, inducing societal panic, and interfering with the deployment of U.S. forces."

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

Written by: Jack Davis, The Western Journal

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