China-backed hackers targeting critical US infrastructure: Five Eyes

China-backed hackers targeting critical US infrastructure: Five Eyes

Western intel group says it believes methods could be used against others as well

Microsoft says it has uncovered ‘stealthy and targeted malicious activity’ aimed at ‘critical infrastructure’ in the United States.

Western intelligence agencies on Thursday issued a joint advisory on alleged Chinese-sponsored cyber hackers now targeting critical US infrastructure and helping users identify the activity on their devices, the German News Agency (dpa) reported.

Agencies in the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Britain issued a joint advisory and shared technical details about “a recently detected cluster of activity linked to a People’s Republic of China (PRC)-sponsored hacker known as Volt Typhoon”.

“Private sector partners have identified that these activities affect networks across US critical infrastructure sectors and the authorities believe the perpetrators may use similar techniques against that sector and other sectors around the world,” the advisory said.

Meanwhile, Microsoft in a blog post on Thursday said it “revealed hidden malicious activity that targeted and focused on post-compromise credential access and discovery of network systems in critical infrastructure organizations in the United States”.

According to Microsoft, Volt Typhoon “generally focuses on espionage and information gathering”.

“Microsoft assesses with moderate confidence that this Volt Typhoon campaign is now targeting the development of capabilities that could disrupt critical communications infrastructure between the United States and the Asian region in a future crisis,” according to the technology company.

Microsoft said the group, which has been active since mid-2021, is targeting critical infrastructure organizations in the US territory of Guam and elsewhere in the United States with targeted activities of “espionage and maintaining access undetected as long as possible”.

The company said organizations affected by the malicious campaign included maritime, government and information technology.

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