China Could Threaten Critical Infrastructure in a Conflict, N.S.A. Chief Says


China’s attempts to access critical infrastructure in the United States with the intention of threatening these systems in potential conflict scenarios were highlighted by the National Security Agency director, Gen. Timothy D. Haugh. According to him, China has intensified its cyberefforts, prompting the U.S. to respond with increased efforts to counteract this activity.

Quick Facts

  • China attempting to access critical infrastructure in the U.S. for potential threat in conflicts
  • U.S. officials discovered China’s efforts to access infrastructure in Guam and the continental U.S.
  • China focused on securing access to critical networks in preparation for direct confrontations

General Haugh mentioned that China had been targeting critical infrastructure in Guam and the continental U.S., dubbing the intrusions as Volt Typhoon. This was the result of a methodical approach adopted by China, aiming to place these systems under threat. He expressed concern over China’s activities, particularly its securing of access on critical networks ahead of potential direct confrontations between the two countries.

According to General Haugh, China is signaling intentions to leverage cyberspace in a crisis, particularly by disrupting or shutting down critical infrastructure near military bases. This tactic is seen as a means to sow chaos and impede response time to a crisis in the Pacific region or over Taiwan. He described China as an “urgent military threat” and stressed the increasing sophistication of its cyberabilities, highlighting its pursuit of global dominance through cutting-edge technologies.


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