According to the United States, some of its Western allies and software company Microsoft, Chinese-backed hackers have infiltrated critical US infrastructure networks. They also warn that similar activities could take place worldwide.
According to Microsoft, the hackers, also known as Volt Typhoon, have been active since mid-2021. They mainly target critical infrastructure on the island of Guam, a crucial US military outpost in the Pacific, but also elsewhere in the US. Volt Typhoon would aim to “conduct espionage and maintain access for as long as possible without being detected”, the US company said in a statement.
Microsoft suspects that Volt Typhoon wants to be able to disrupt critical communication infrastructure between the US and Asia in future crises, but cannot assess whether the hackers can do so now. The company says the US organizations under attack operate in the maritime, government and information technology sectors, among others.
Microsoft’s findings are endorsed by US, Australian, Canadian, New Zealand and UK authorities in a statement. China calls the reports a US campaign to spread disinformation. “Western authorities show no evidence,” a foreign ministry spokesman said.