China’s People’s Liberation Army hackers have hacked over two dozen vital American infrastructure firms in the past year, according to the Washington Post.
Chinese Hackers Target Key U.S. Infrastructure, Aiming for Chaos and Disruption
Chinese forces are reportedly strengthening their ability to disrupt U.S. power, water, transportation, and communication networks. Hacking attempts aim to incite terror, unrest, or logistical challenges in a Pacific U.S.-China battle.
Hackers broke into a Hawaiian water utility, West Coast port, and oil and gas pipeline. Also, hackers failed to hack Texas’ power grid operator. China may be hindering U.S. ambitions to transfer soldiers and equipment to Hawaii, home to the Pacific Fleet, in a Taiwan dispute.
China did not interrupt industrial control systems, but analysts say their attempts to access crucial infrastructure position them for future disruption or destruction.
China Shifts Cyber Strategy from Espionage to Crisis Influence
From political and economic espionage to influencing U.S. crisis decision-making, Brandon Wales, executive director of the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, said China’s cyber actions have changed.
The Post reports that the hacking campaign changed Chinese cyber policy to influence crisis decisions and societal unrest. Seven to 10 years ago, political and economic espionage was stressed. MS reported in July that Chinese state-linked hackers penetrated 25 organizations’ email accounts, including government entities, in a massive cyberespionage effort.