Home News China US Hunts for Chinese Malware Hidden Inside Essential Networks

US Hunts for Chinese Malware Hidden Inside Essential Networks

As per a report from The New York Times, the Biden administration is actively engaged in a search for Chinese malware believed to be concealed within essential networks controlling power grids, communication systems, and water supplies that provide support to U.S. military bases. This malicious computer code’s discovery has raised concerns that Chinese hackers may have strategically inserted it to potentially disrupt U.S. military operations in the event of a conflict, such as a hypothetical Beijing invasion of Taiwan.

A congressional official referred to the malware as a “ticking time bomb,” indicating that it could enable China to impede or halt American military deployments and resupply efforts by severing power, communication, and water access at U.S. military installations. The impact of such an attack could extend even further, as the same infrastructure also services the homes and businesses of ordinary American citizens.

The existence of this malware was first brought to public attention in May when Microsoft reported discovering unusual computer code in telecommunications systems in Guam, which hosts a significant American air base, as well as other locations within the United States. However, the Chinese malware campaign is said to have been ongoing for at least a year before the May disclosure. The U.S. government has been working diligently to locate and eradicate the code since then.

The extent of the malware’s presence in global networks remains uncertain, but officials believe that China’s efforts in this regard are more far-reaching than initially assumed. The matter has been the subject of multiple high-level discussions in the Situation Room at the White House, involving senior officials from the National Security Council, the Pentagon, Homeland Security, and intelligence agencies, as they grapple with understanding the scope of the problem and crafting an appropriate response.

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The administration has started briefing members of Congress, some state governors, and utility companies about the malware. However, there is an ongoing debate within the Biden administration about the potential objectives of this operation, whether it primarily targets military assets or aims for more widespread disruption in civilian life during a conflict. The initial focus of the code search has been on areas with a significant concentration of U.S. military bases.

“The Biden administration is working relentlessly to defend the United States from any disruptions to our critical infrastructure, including by coordinating interagency efforts to protect water systems, pipelines, rail and aviation systems, among others,” Adam Hodge, acting spokesman for the National Security Council, told The Times in a statement Friday night. “The president has also mandated rigorous cybersecurity practices for the first time.”

Source: {Matzav.com}


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