The director of the FBI has warned that Chinese state-sponsored hackers are planning to “wreak havoc” on the US.
Speaking to the House Select Committee On The Chinese Communist Party last week, FBI director Christopher Wray said that critical infrastructure, such as water treatment plant and transportation systems, are being targeted to cause “real-world harm” to US citizens.
He said: “China’s hackers are positioning on American infrastructure in preparation to wreak havoc and cause real-world harm to American citizens and communities, if or when China decides the time has come to strike.
“Today, and literally every day, they’re actively attacking our economic security, engaging in wholesale theft of our innovation, and our personal and corporate data.”
Anti-Chinese sentiment is rife among US lawmakers, with tensions between Washington and Beijing continuing to remain high. Wray is one of numerous senior US officials who has continually argued that the Chinese government is determined to steal scientific and industrial research from US-based businesses.
Wray has previously also spoken alongside the head of MI5 to warn of the “game-changing challenge” posed by China.
Microsoft last year said that state-backed hackers from China had been targeting American infrastructure, while Mandiant has accused Chinese hackers of exploiting a security hole in Microsoft Exchange to break into hundreds of networks globally.
For its part, China has refuted multiple criminal indictments as groundless, and has said that the committee was set up specifically to target the country.