America’s Top Cybersecurity Official Warns of China’s Disruptive Cybersecurity Capabilities
In a recent speech at the Aspen Institute in Washington, D.C., Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency Director Jen Easterly issued a dire warning about the “epoch-defining threat” posed by China’s cybersecurity capabilities.
Easterly emphasized that if a conflict with China were to arise, the nation’s “aggressive cyber operations” would pose a significant threat to America’s transportation infrastructure, potentially causing societal panic.
According to Microsoft, a state-sponsored actor known as “Volt Typhoon,” based in China, has been engaging in stealthy and targeted malicious activity aimed at critical infrastructure organizations in the United States.
Easterly stressed the importance of being prepared for disruptive cyber attacks, particularly for those who operate critical infrastructure. She acknowledged the difficulty in preventing such attacks but expressed hope that they can be avoided.
FIRST UP: Americans should prepare for cyber attacks
Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) Director Jen Easterly said on Monday that Americans should prepare cyber attacks in a crisis or conflict with China, because “it’s going to be very difficult to prevent… pic.twitter.com/MHRUhoE2w8
— Forward Observer (@fo_intel) June 13, 2023
Easterly further warned that in the event of a conflict, China would likely target America’s critical infrastructure, including pipelines and rail lines, to delay military deployment and induce societal panic.
She emphasized the formidable nature of the threat posed by Chinese state actors and the significant resources they dedicate to cyber operations. Easterly acknowledged the challenges in preventing disruptions caused by these actors.
Easterly called for a greater understanding of cyber resilience, operational resilience, and societal resilience among the American people. She expressed concern that societal resilience may have been compromised.
According to Easterly, China’s cyber strategy has shifted from espionage to disruption and destruction. This change aligns with the findings of the 2023 threat assessment prepared by the Office of the Director for National Intelligence, which identifies China as the most active and persistent cyber espionage threat to U.S. networks.
The threat assessment also warns that in a major conflict, China would likely initiate aggressive cyber operations against U.S. critical infrastructure and military assets to impede decision-making, induce panic, and hinder the deployment of U.S. forces.
It is crucial for the United States to be prepared for Chinese cyber attacks, as highlighted by Easterly’s dire warning.
Source: The Western Journal
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