- China’s hacking capabilities dwarf the FBI’s, says FBI chief Christopher Wray.
- “The PRC has a bigger hacking program than every other major nation combined,” Wray told Congress.
- Wray said Chinese hackers outnumber the FBI’s cyber agents by at least 50 to 1.
The FBI is outnumbered and outgunned when it comes to tackling China’s hackers, says FBI director Christopher Wray.
“The PRC has a bigger hacking program than every other major nation combined,” Wray said at a congressional hearing on China on Wednesday.
“In fact, if each one of the FBI’s cyber agents and intelligence analysts focused exclusively on the China threat, China’s hackers would still outnumber FBI cyber personnel by at least 50 to 1,” Wray continued.
The FBI chief had earlier accused China’s hackers of seeking to “wreak havoc and cause real-world harm to American citizens and communities.”
The hackers, Wray said, weren’t just focusing on political or military targets, but civilian infrastructure as well.
“We can see from where they position themselves, across civilian infrastructure, that low blows aren’t just a possibility in the event of a conflict,” Wray said. “Low blows against civilians are part of China’s plan.”
This isn’t the first time Wray has sounded the alarm on China’s hacking prowess.
In October, Wray told 60 Minutes that China has stolen more US data “than every nation, big or small, combined.”
“So as we sit here while important budget discussions are underway, I’ll note that this is a time to be keeping ahead of the threat by investing in our capabilities rather than cutting them,” Wray told lawmakers on Wednesday.
Wray’s assessment of China echoes that of his CIA counterpart, William J. Burns.
In a Foreign Affairs op-ed on Tuesday, the CIA chief said that his agency has more than doubled its budget for China in the past two years.
“While Russia may pose the most immediate challenge, China is the bigger long-term threat,” Burns said in his article.