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US-China Tensions Spark Cyberattack Alarms

Jen Easterly, in her capacity as the director of the U.S. The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Agency has issued a grave and significant warning that highlights China’s concerning actions in positioning their hackers with the potential intent of launching destructive cyberattacks aimed at vital U.S. infrastructure.

This warning was conveyed during her address at the Def Con hacker conference, where she emphasized the unsettling possibility that China might utilize its considerable cyber capabilities in the event of a conflict erupting over the issue of Taiwan.

This shift in focus toward potentially harmful and disruptive cyberattacks marks a notable departure from China’s historical cyber strategies, which have predominantly revolved around espionage and the pilferage of sensitive data rather than actively causing direct damage through cyber means.

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China’s Infrastructure Threat: Microsoft and More Raise Alarms Alongside Easterly

us-china-tensions-spark-cyber-attack-alarms
Jen Easterly, in her capacity as the director of the U.S. The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Agency has issued a grave and significant warning that highlights China’s concerning actions in positioning their hackers with the potential intent of launching destructive cyberattacks aimed at vital U.S. infrastructure.

 

The heightened sense of alarm expressed by Easterly resonates with the growing chorus of concerns voiced by various sources, one of which is Microsoft. Microsoft has previously raised a red flag regarding the actions of Chinese state-affiliated hackers, who appear to be engaging in deliberate efforts to target and undermine U.S. infrastructure.

Adding to this unease, the Annual Threat Assessment issued by the Director of National Intelligence has illuminated China’s formidable capacity to potentially disrupt critical services of U.S. infrastructure, encompassing vital sectors like oil and gas pipelines as well as the intricate rail systems.

What sets these hacking campaigns aimed at U.S. infrastructure apart is the hackers’ adeptness at employing a strategy known as “living off the land.” This approach involves leveraging existing computer processes already in place within the victim’s systems, granting the hackers the ability to remain concealed and, consequently, more elusive in their activities, making it harder for their actions to be detected.

The urgency of these matters is underlined by David Pekoske, the director of the Transportation Security Administration, who has passionately emphasized the necessity for those responsible for safeguarding critical infrastructure to act promptly and decisively in preparation for potential cyberattacks.

Pekoske’s focus on immediate readiness is rooted in the pressing nature of the situation and the imperative to avoid being caught unguarded in the event of such possible threats materializing. The ever-evolving landscape of cyberwarfare necessitates a swift and proactive response to ensure the protection of the nation’s essential systems and services.

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Source: NBC

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