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Chinese hackers infiltrate US plane, train, and water systems for five years, according to the US government

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A report from American and allied intelligence agencies on Wednesday revealed that a sophisticated group of Chinese hackers, known as Volt Typhoon, has been targeting critical US infrastructure for the past five years. The US National Security Agency, US cyber watchdog CISA, the FBI, and the Transportation Security Administration warned that the group has infiltrated the networks of aviation, rail, mass transit, highway, maritime, pipeline, water, and sewage organizations.

While the organizations targeted were not named specifically, the joint statement confirmed that the hackers have maintained access and footholds within some victim IT environments for at least five years. This alarming revelation has prompted a series of meetings between the White House and private technology industry leaders, where the US government has requested assistance in tracking the activity of Volt Typhoon.

The statement, co-signed by cybersecurity agencies from Britain, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand, serves as a further warning about the activities of Volt Typhoon, emphasizing that the group’s intentions seem to be related to sabotage rather than espionage. This distinction has heightened concerns about the potential impact of their actions on critical infrastructure and national security.

Eric Goldstein, a senior CISA official, expressed deep concern about the malicious cyber activity attributed to Volt Typhoon, stating that most of the victims identified had no legitimate espionage value. This sentiment aligns with the wider sentiment from intelligence officials who have consistently raised the alarm about the group’s activities and their potential implications.

The widespread nature of the hacks targeting transportation and other critical infrastructure sectors underscores the severity of the threat posed by Volt Typhoon. This has led to urgent calls for cooperation between government agencies and private technology companies to enhance cybersecurity measures and mitigate the risk posed by such advanced hacker groups.

Moreover, the revelation of Volt Typhoon’s extended presence within critical infrastructure networks has prompted calls for increased vigilance and proactive measures to safeguard against future infiltration. The fact that this has been occurring for several years undetected raises questions about the existing cybersecurity protocols and their efficacy in identifying and preventing such sophisticated attacks.

In response to this latest intelligence report, US officials have reiterated the need for enhanced collaboration with international partners to counter emerging threats in cyberspace. The joint effort to address the activities of Volt Typhoon reflects the growing recognition of the interconnected nature of cybersecurity and the imperative of collective action to protect critical infrastructure and information systems.

The latest findings regarding Volt Typhoon’s cyber intrusions into US infrastructure networks serve as a stark reminder of the evolving threat landscape in cyberspace. As such, these revelations underscore the need for a coordinated and proactive approach to cybersecurity, both at the national and international levels, to effectively mitigate the risks posed by advanced hacker groups.

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