On Wednesday, January 31, 2024, top US cyber officials including National Security Agency Director Gen. Paul Nakasone, CISA Director Jen Easterly, and FBI Director Christopher Wray, testified on China’s cyber threat to U.S. critical infrastructure and homeland security before the House Select Committee on U.S.-China Competition.
“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,” Wray said, while Easterly commented that China is preparing for opportunities to incite “societal panic and chaos.”
The hearings on Wednesday came on the same day an announcement on the major takedown of a botnet using end-of-life Cisco and Netgear routers, after researchers warned it was being used by Chinese state-backed “Volt Typhoon” hackers as a covert communications channel. Volt Typhoon, flagged by Microsoft and US government officials as a Chinese hacking group with the ability to disrupt critical infrastructure, has burrowed deep into thousands of organizations spanning communications, manufacturing, utility, transportation, construction, maritime, government, information technology, and the education sectors.
The full hearing is embedded below.