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Sabotage: Chinese code hidden in US military systems; China can cut off military power, water, communications, report says

The destructive “wiper” malware seen in Ukraine. (Dreamstime/TNS)
July 31, 2023

United States officials have discovered Chinese malware on multiple military systems that experts claim was intended to disrupt the U.S. military and may give China the ability to cut power, water and communications to U.S. military bases.

According to The New York Times, experts have warned that the recent malware attack used a different form of code that has the capability of disrupting both military and civilian operations, a notable departure from previous malware attacks that were limited to surveillance operations.

During a recent Intelligence and National Security Summit, Deputy Director of the National Security Agency George Barnes stated, “China is steadfast and determined to penetrate our governments, our companies, our critical infrastructure.”

The New York Times reported that the new malware has the potential to allow China to cut off the access of U.S. military bases to power, water, and communications, as well as impact homes and businesses throughout the United States. National Security Agency Director of Cybersecurity Rob Joyce has described the new malware as “really disturbing.”

Experts have indicated that it is currently not certain whether China’s government is aware of the recent malware, according to The New York Times. Additionally, it is not clear how well the software works.

READ MORE: US military footprint in Australia expands to counter China

According to CNN, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken discussed Chinese hacking during a meeting with Chinese diplomats during a recent meeting. A senior State Department official explained that the State Department has “consistently made clear that any action that targets US government, US companies, American citizens, is a deep concern to us.”

The senior State Department official noted that Blinken informed China that the U.S. government would “take appropriate action” in order to “hold those responsible accountable” for their actions against the United States.

Regarding the issue of Chinese hacking, National Security Council spokesman Adam R. Hodge recently stated, “The Biden administration is working relentlessly to defend the United States from any disruptions to our critical infrastructure, including by coordinating interagency efforts to protect water systems, pipelines, rail and aviation systems, among others.”

This was a breaking news story. The details were periodically updated as more information became available.