(ConservativeSense.com) – FBI Director Christopher Wray has warned Congress that Chinese hackers are preparing to cause real harm to American communities. Testifying to the House Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party, Wray said there has not been enough focus on China and its ability to target critical US infrastructure, including water treatment, the electrical grid, or transportation systems. “The risk that poses to every American requires our attention now,” he said.
Mr. Wray warned that the threat is an urgent one and Chinese operatives are ready to “wreak havoc” on American towns and cities “If and when China decides the time has come to strike.” The FBI leader also stated that “literally every day” Chinese hackers are stealing American innovation and corporate and individual data and threatening the nation’s security.
In a separate testimony last April, the Director issued a similar warning and said that FBI agents are outnumbered by a factor of 50 to 1 compared to their Chinese counterparts. “They’ve got a bigger hacking program than every other major nation combined,” he told the House Appropriations Committee.
However, Wray said the FBI has had numerous successes in tackling China’s hackers. Several attempts to install malware to disrupt critical infrastructure have been thwarted, but the situation remains critical.
Jen Easterly, the Director of the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, echoed Wray’s concerns during her testimony and said countries are so technologically interconnected that a crisis on the other side of the world could profoundly impact Americans. Easterly said consequences could include loss of communication, pollution, power cuts, and disruption of our transport systems.
National Cyber Director Harry Coker Jr. also testified, saying the US is competing with China and needs to “manage that competition responsibly, to avoid confrontation and conflict.”
Christopher Wray has previously delivered dire warnings about Chinese activities to lawmakers and has called for a ban on the video-sharing platform TikTok, saying it is collecting data on Americans.
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