US authorities announced on Wednesday that they have neutralized Volt Typhoon, a network of hackers that Washington says aimed to attack civilian infrastructure on behalf of China.
FBI Director Christopher Wray announced the operation before a House committee on strategic rivalry with China.
In May 2023, the United States and its Western allies accused Volt Typhoon of infiltrating US “critical infrastructure” and called the network a cyber actor sponsored by China. China rejected the accusations.
“This morning we announced an operation in which we, together with our partners, registered hundreds of routers hacked by the group known as Volt Typhoon, sponsored by the People’s Republic of China,” said the Director of Federal Investigations.
Beijing strongly condemned the statements on Thursday. “The US has made baseless accusations and scandalized China without evidence,” a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson said at a press briefing. “The cyber attacks come from the US, they are the experts.”
The Volt Typhoon malware allowed China to conceal reconnaissance activities that targeted vital infrastructure such as transportation, communications and water supplies, Wray added. The Chinese hackers are infiltrating US infrastructure “to cause chaos and real-world harm to US citizens and communities,” the FBI director warned.
Access to this infrastructure “would have given the People’s Republic of China leverage in a future crisis” with the US, Deputy Attorney General Matthew Olsen said in a statement.