Headline RoundupFebruary 2nd, 2024

FBI Thwarts Major Chinese Cyber Threat on American Infrastructure

Summary from the AllSides News Team

The FBI reportedly countered a major cyberattack aimed at American critical infrastructure.

Details: The attack was initiated by a Chinese government-backed hacking group dubbed “Volt Typhoon,”, which covertly hijacked hundreds of American home/office routers. The FBI, with approval from a court order, disabled a botnet - a network of devices infected with malware - that the hackers were using to plan and launch their attacks.

Key Quotes: Attorney General Merrick Garland stated, “The United States will continue to dismantle malicious cyber operations—including those sponsored by foreign governments—that undermine the security of the American people.” FBI Director Christopher Wray stated, “PRC hackers are targeting our critical infrastructure—our water treatment plants, our electrical grid, our oil and natural gas pipelines, our transportation systems—and the risk that poses to every American requires our attention now.”

China’s Response: China's foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin countered the US claims, accusing American officials of making “groundless accusations against China” and distorting facts. He noted how cybersecurity agencies in China have unveiled numerous instances of alleged US-initiated cyberattacks against Chinese critical infrastructure.

How the Media Covered It: Outlets across the spectrum covered the announcement, but left-rated outlets reported it more frequently. Across the spectrum, coverage emphasized the threat posed by cyberattacks, especially in the event of a conflict between the US and China. Breitbart (Right bias) noted a warning from Wray that China would attempt to interfere in the 2024 election, noting TikTok as a potential means of foreign influence.

This summary was developed with the help of AllSides' AI technology.

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