Microsoft Claims China-Sponsored Hackers Targeted Infrastructure

    Microsoft Claims China-Sponsored Hackers Targeted Infrastructure
    Last updated May 25, 2023
    Image credit: Pixbay [via]


    • Tech giant Microsoft on Wednesday claimed in an advisory that a state-backed Chinese hacking group has continually tried to compromise US cyberinfrastructure in a variety of sectors.
    • Microsoft accused with “moderate confidence” the group it called "Volt Typhoon" of developing capabilities to disrupt vital communication infrastructure between the US and Asia during times of crisis.
    • The company claimed Volt Typhoon has been active since mid-2021, and industries affected spanned across communications, manufacturing, utility, transportation, construction, maritime, information technology, and education.
    • While Microsoft acknowledged it had not detected any offensive attacks, it noted that Chinese surveillance operations often preferred to gather information rather than destroy it.
    • Microsoft warned that similar techniques by the group could be used against states such as Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the UK.
    • The PRC foreign ministry responded to the accusations by saying the claims “lacked evidence,” further commenting that the inclusion of “certain companies” forming allegations highlighted the US’ expansion of “disseminating false information.”


    Anti-China narrative

    While countries such as Iran, Russia, and North Korea have often attempted to disrupt via cyber-attacks, China has largely kept to simple espionage. Consequently, the potential move by China to build the foundations of damaging communication services between the US and Asia is worrying. Volt Typhoon’s methods of gaining information are in line with previous Chinese examples, and the West must brace for the possibility of a potential cyber war.

    Pro-China narrative

    The murky relationship between Microsoft and the US government makes this advisory no more than propaganda. As Edward Snowden revealed, America is home to the largest hacking empire in the world. Western companies, media, and intelligence services all play a part in continuing to distract the world from their own wrongdoings by pointing the finger at China.

    Nerd narrative

    There is a 17% chance of a US-China war before 2035, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

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