FBI Director Warns Chinese Hackers are Preparing to ‘Physically Wreak Havoc’ on U.S. Infrastructure

FBI director Christopher Wray warned this week that Chinese hackers are developing the “ability to physically wreak havoc on our critical infrastructure at a time of its choosing.”

Wray claimed hackers were waiting “for just the right moment to deal a devastating blow.” 

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

The hacking campaign, Volt Typhoon, has incorporated itself in several American critical infrastructure companies that include telecommunications, energy and water, and others, according to the director.

“Some in the US have been using origin-tracing of cyberattacks as a tool to hit and frame China, claiming the US to be the victim while it’s the other way round, and politicizing cybersecurity issues,” the Chinese embassy in Washington, D.C. said in a separate statement. 

In May 2023, Microsoft warned that Chinese hackers may invade infrastructure networks.

Microsoft said “malicious” activity has been found in the United States and noted Guam may be another target.

“Microsoft assesses with moderate confidence that this Volt Typhoon campaign is pursuing development of capabilities that could disrupt critical communications infrastructure between the United States and Asia region during future crises,” a statement said, referring to a China-sponsored individual acting since mid-2021.

A similar advisory was released by U.S., Australian, Canadian, New Zealand, and U.K. officials at the time.

Chinese authorities asserted the Microsoft report was “extremely unprofessional,” denying the allegations.