The FBI and Justice Department are using the court order to try to disrupt Chinese hacking targeting key U.S. infrastructure


The FBI and Justice Department used a court order to address vulnerabilities in thousands of Internet-connected devices that are at the heart of a Chinese hacking campaign targeting sensitive US critical infrastructure, two US officials and a third source familiar with the matter told CNN.

The move is part of a broader government-level effort to mitigate the impact of ongoing Chinese hacking efforts that US officials fear could hamper any US military response in the event of a Chinese invasion of Taiwan, the source familiar said. It is believed that hackers are using access to some devices to delve deeper into sensitive critical infrastructure, such as ports and transport networks.

The court order allows the Department of Justice to update vulnerable software used by thousands of devices in the United States that are vulnerable to Chinese hacking, the source said.

The Justice Department’s action is an attempt to undermine the ability of Chinese hackers to communicate with some of the infrastructure used in the hacks. But the hackers are believed to be deeply entrenched in US infrastructure. “We will need to continue to do this,” the familiar source told CNN. In recent months, the White House has held a series of meetings with technology companies such as internet and cloud computing providers to try to better track the activity of Chinese hackers, the source said.

The Department of Justice and the FBI declined to comment. Reuters first mentioned Concerning law enforcement activity in the United States.

In exposing the alleged Chinese hacking campaign last year, Microsoft, whose customers were targeted, said the hackers targeted critical infrastructure in Guam, a US territory considered key to US efforts to counter and deter China’s regional ambitions in the Pacific. US Marine Corps last year Choose Guam As the setting for the opening of its first new base in 70 years, a facility that officials expect will host 5,000 Marines.

Chinese hackers’ intrusion into U.S. shipping and transportation networks has alarmed top national security officials, who believe the hackers are not there to gather intelligence but to cripple computer networks in the event of a conflict between the United States and China. Rob Joyce, a senior official at the National Security Agency, told CNN that the Chinese activity was “unacceptable” because of its potential disruptive effects.

“I think the difference here is how bold it is in terms of scope and scale,” Joyce told CNN last May.

The Chinese government denied these accusations.

The heads of the FBI, NSA and other senior US officials are scheduled to testify on Wednesday about Chinese cyber activity before the House Committee on the Chinese Communist Party.

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