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U.S. Hunts Chinese Malware That Could Disrupt Military Operations

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A fighter jet taking off from Andersen Air Force Base in Guam earlier this year.

The Chinese code, the officials say, appears directed at ordinary utilities that often serve both civilian populations and nearby military bases.

Credit: Chang W. Lee/The New York Times

U.S. military, intelligence, and national security officials say the White House is hunting for malware purportedly concealed by China within infrastructure critical to U.S. military bases at home and abroad.

They worry that the code could enable Chinese hackers to disrupt military operations should a conflict erupt, with one official warning of power, water, and communications interruptions.

Microsoft's announcement in May of detecting mysterious code in telecommunications systems in Guam—home to major U.S. bases—and elsewhere in the U.S. was the first inkling of the malware campaign.

Microsoft credited the Guam code to a Chinese state-sponsored hacking gang called Volt Typhoon, which other U.S. security agencies echoed.

White House officials advised removing the malware as soon it could be found, although some officials say this risks encouraging Chinese hackers to enhance their methods and deploy harder-to-detect code.

From The New York Times
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