FBI Director Christopher Wray warned this week that communist China is preparing to “wreak havoc” across the U.S. with massive cyberattacks targeting critical infrastructure.
Wray made the remarks during a Wednesday hearing in front of the House Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party, titled: “The Chinese Community Party Cyber Threat to the American Homeland and National Security.”
“There has been far too little public focus on the fact that PRC [People’s Republic of China] hackers are targeting our critical infrastructure—our water treatment plants, our electrical grid, our oil and natural gas pipelines, our transportation systems—and the risk that poses to every American requires our attention now,” Wray said. “China’s hackers are positioning on American infrastructure in preparation to wreak havoc and cause real-world harm to American citizens and communities, if and when China decides the time has come to strike.”
Wray said that China “has a bigger hacking program than every other major nation combined,” adding: “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 specifically called out the Chinese Communist Party, saying their “multi-pronged assault on our national and economic security” included “low blows against civilians.”
“The PRC’s cyber onslaught goes way beyond pre-positioning for future conflict. Today, and literally every day, they’re actively attacking our economic security—engaging in wholesale theft of our innovation and our personal and corporate data,” he said. “The PRC cyber threat is made vastly more dangerous by the way they knit cyber into a whole-of-government campaign against us. They recruit human sources to target our businesses, using insiders to steal the same kinds of innovation and data their hackers are targeting while also engaging in corporate deception—hiding Beijing’s hand in transactions, joint ventures, and investments—to do the same.”
Wray said that China was targeting the freedoms of U.S. citizens inside the U.S. by engaging in campaigns to “silence, coerce, and threaten our citizens and residents.”
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Wray said that the FBI has deployed experts in the realms of cyber, counterintelligence, criminal, and weapons of mass destruction to combat China’s attacks against the U.S.
“The budgets that emerge from the discussions underway now will dictate what resources we’ll have ready in 2027—a year that, as this committee knows all too well, the CCP has circled on its calendar,” he added. “And that year will be on us before you know it. As I’ve described, the PRC is already, today, putting their pieces in place.”