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China presents an ‘unparalleled’ cyber threat, says FBI

The FBI has come out saying that the cyber threat presented by China is an “unparalleled” national security challenge for the US government.

user icon Daniel Croft
Fri, 28 Apr 2023
China presents an ‘unparalleled’ cyber threat, says FBI
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FBI director Christopher Wray has said that China’s cyber strength is at the core of the threat.

“Today’s cyber threats are more pervasive, hit a wider variety of victims and carry the potential for greater damage than ever before,” said Wray.

“You take China; a key part of the Chinese government’s multipronged strategy to lie, to cheat and to steal their way to surpassing us as the global superpower is cyber.”

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Among concerns around China’s suspected espionage techniques through companies like TikTok and with technological advancements like the recently shot down spy balloon, China’s hacking teams are presenting a major threat.

“They’ve got a bigger hacking program than every other major nation combined,” said Wray.

“To give you a sense of what [the US] is up against, if each one of the FBI’s cyber agents and intel analysts focused exclusively on the China threat … Chinese hackers would still outnumber FBI cyber personnel by at least 50 to 1.”

“There’s no country that presents a more significant threat to our innovation, our ideas, our economic security, our national security than [the] Chinese government. And that’s why we’ve grown the number of investigations into threats from China about 1,300 per cent.”

The new concerns come just days after it was revealed in an Australian Strategic Policy Institute report that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has been ramping up its online influence operations.

The report titled Gaming public opinion: The CCP’s increasingly sophisticated cyber-enabled influence operations, revealed the true extent of China’s Spamouflage network, which posts what could be described as government-mandated propaganda spammed online while making the source obscure.

China’s Spamouflage efforts began as recently as 2017, initially aimed at thwarting supportive opinion around the protests in Hong Kong and instead showing support for the police crackdown. It has since become much wider reaching, attempting to influence even Australian politics.

The CCP’s operations were first outed by Meta and Twitter after the social media giants said that there was “reliable evidence to support that [these campaigns were] a coordinated state-backed operation”.

Daniel Croft

Daniel Croft

Born in the heart of Western Sydney, Daniel Croft is a passionate journalist with an understanding for and experience writing in the technology space. Having studied at Macquarie University, he joined Momentum Media in 2022, writing across a number of publications including Australian Aviation, Cyber Security Connect and Defence Connect. Outside of writing, Daniel has a keen interest in music, and spends his time playing in bands around Sydney.

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