The US is hunting Chinese malware that could disrupt US military operations. This was reported by The New York Times.
According to U.S. intelligence officials, the malware could give China the ability to disrupt or slow down U.S. deployment or resupply operations, particularly during a potential Chinese attack on Taiwan.
The U.S. believes that China may have hidden malicious computer code in networks that control communications and water and power grids that feed U.S. military bases. At the same time, the impact can be much broader, because the same infrastructure also supplies electricity to the homes and businesses of average Americans.
The first public hints of the situation began to emerge in late May, when Microsoft said it had discovered mysterious computer code in telecommunications systems in Guam, the Pacific island home to a huge US air base, and elsewhere in the US. But that turned out to be only a narrow slice of the problem that Microsoft was able to see through its networks.
More than a dozen U.S. officials and industry experts said the Chinese effort extended far beyond telecommunications systems and predated the May report by at least a year. According to them, efforts by the US government to find and destroy this code have been ongoing for some time.
“The Biden administration is working relentlessly to defend the United States from any disruptions to our critical infrastructure, including by coordinating interagency efforts to protect water systems, pipelines, rail and aviation systems, among others,” said the acting spokesman for the National Council US Security Adam R. Hodge. “The president has also mandated rigorous cybersecurity practices for the first time.”
Instead, the Chinese embassy in Washington issued a statement denying any involvement in the hacking attacks and accusing the United States of being a much bigger offender.
“We have always firmly opposed and cracked down on all forms of cyberattacking in accordance with the law,” said embassy spokesman Haoming Ouyang.
By the way, Microsoft recently reported that Chinese hackers who had intent on gathering intelligence about the US, gained access to government email inboxes.