Wray: China’s Hackers Outnumber FBI 50 to 1

‘To quantify what we are up against: the PRC has a bigger hacking program than every other major nation combined,’ said FBI Director Christopher Wray.Communist China operates the world’s largest hacking network, and its malign cyber actors outnumber all the cyber experts of the FBI by a staggering margin, Congress has heard.FBI Director Christopher Wray testified on April 11 that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), which rules China as a single-party state, was “sparing no expense in its attempt to hack, lie, cheat, and steal its way to the top as a global superpower.”The U.S. intelligence community, he said, was ill-prepared to deal with the threat and lacked the professional staff to counter it.“To quantify what we are up against: the PRC has a bigger hacking program than every other major nation combined,” Mr. Wray said in his prepared testimony for the House Appropriations Committee, using an acronym for China’s official name.“In fact, if each one of the FBI’s cyber agents and intelligence analysts focused exclusively on the PRC threat, the PRC’s hackers would still outnumber FBI cyber personnel at least 50 to 1.”Mr. Wray’s warning follows several high-profile cyberattacks on the U.S. government and U.S. critical infrastructure believed to have been perpetrated by Chinese state-backed hackers.Related StoriesThe Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) issued an advisory to that effect in  February, saying that the CCP is pre-positioning malware in U.S. systems in preparation for a major conflict.Senior intelligence leaders, including Mr. Wray, testified at the time that the U.S. intelligence community had eradicated Chinese malware from more than 600 routers associated with critical U.S. infrastructure, which they believed could have been used to attack critical U.S. systems in the event of a CCP invasion of Taiwan.Mr. Wray said at the time that the CCP’s intrusion into U.S. systems was unique for the extent to which it deliberately targeted civilian systems that would directly pose physical harm to U.S. citizens.He said the malware that the operation removed from U.S. systems was designed to directly disrupt, degrade, and destroy U.S. infrastructure, likely in coordination with direct military actions in the event of a conflict between the two nations over the future of Taiwan.“They’re not focused just on political and military targets,” Mr. Wray said.“Cyber threats to our critical infrastructure represent real-world threats to our physical safety.”Mr. Wray reiterated on Thursday that the CCP’s malign cyber activity was at least in part designed to prepare China for a future war.“We have seen the PRC working to obtain controlled dual-use technology while developing an arsenal of advanced cyber capabilities that could be used against other countries in the event of a real-world conflict,” Mr. Wray said.“The appropriations this Committee decides on this year will dictate what resources can apply to counter the growing PRC cyber threat, especially as 2027, the year that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has targeted for a potential invasion of Taiwan, approaches.”U.S. infrastructure is not the only target that the CCP has set its sights on in recent years. The regime has also launched cyberattacks against several of the nation’s allies and their militaries.To that end, Mr. Wray said that the CCP posed the greatest threat to U.S. national security and global stability.“The greatest long-term threat to our nation’s ideas, innovation, and economic security is from PRC foreign intelligence and economic espionage,” he said.“By extension, it is also a threat to our national security. The PRC aspires to reshape the international rules-based system to its benefit, often with little regard for international norms and laws.”

Wray: China’s Hackers Outnumber FBI 50 to 1

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‘To quantify what we are up against: the PRC has a bigger hacking program than every other major nation combined,’ said FBI Director Christopher Wray.

Communist China operates the world’s largest hacking network, and its malign cyber actors outnumber all the cyber experts of the FBI by a staggering margin, Congress has heard.

FBI Director Christopher Wray testified on April 11 that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), which rules China as a single-party state, was “sparing no expense in its attempt to hack, lie, cheat, and steal its way to the top as a global superpower.”

The U.S. intelligence community, he said, was ill-prepared to deal with the threat and lacked the professional staff to counter it.

“To quantify what we are up against: the PRC has a bigger hacking program than every other major nation combined,” Mr. Wray said in his prepared testimony for the House Appropriations Committee, using an acronym for China’s official name.

“In fact, if each one of the FBI’s cyber agents and intelligence analysts focused exclusively on the PRC threat, the PRC’s hackers would still outnumber FBI cyber personnel at least 50 to 1.”

Mr. Wray’s warning follows several high-profile cyberattacks on the U.S. government and U.S. critical infrastructure believed to have been perpetrated by Chinese state-backed hackers.

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) issued an advisory to that effect in  February, saying that the CCP is pre-positioning malware in U.S. systems in preparation for a major conflict.
Senior intelligence leaders, including Mr. Wray, testified at the time that the U.S. intelligence community had eradicated Chinese malware from more than 600 routers associated with critical U.S. infrastructure, which they believed could have been used to attack critical U.S. systems in the event of a CCP invasion of Taiwan.

Mr. Wray said at the time that the CCP’s intrusion into U.S. systems was unique for the extent to which it deliberately targeted civilian systems that would directly pose physical harm to U.S. citizens.

He said the malware that the operation removed from U.S. systems was designed to directly disrupt, degrade, and destroy U.S. infrastructure, likely in coordination with direct military actions in the event of a conflict between the two nations over the future of Taiwan.

“They’re not focused just on political and military targets,” Mr. Wray said.

“Cyber threats to our critical infrastructure represent real-world threats to our physical safety.”

Mr. Wray reiterated on Thursday that the CCP’s malign cyber activity was at least in part designed to prepare China for a future war.

“We have seen the PRC working to obtain controlled dual-use technology while developing an arsenal of advanced cyber capabilities that could be used against other countries in the event of a real-world conflict,” Mr. Wray said.

“The appropriations this Committee decides on this year will dictate what resources can apply to counter the growing PRC cyber threat, especially as 2027, the year that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has targeted for a potential invasion of Taiwan, approaches.”

U.S. infrastructure is not the only target that the CCP has set its sights on in recent years. The regime has also launched cyberattacks against several of the nation’s allies and their militaries.

To that end, Mr. Wray said that the CCP posed the greatest threat to U.S. national security and global stability.

“The greatest long-term threat to our nation’s ideas, innovation, and economic security is from PRC foreign intelligence and economic espionage,” he said.

“By extension, it is also a threat to our national security. The PRC aspires to reshape the international rules-based system to its benefit, often with little regard for international norms and laws.”

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