Significant intelligence gathering efforts are being conducted by China-linked cyberespionage operations, with 39 industries across almost every continent being targeted, while North America was subjected to nearly 25% of Chinese hacking operations, NBC News reports.
Chinese hackers have also been leveraging increasingly sophisticated techniques amid evolving cybersecurity protections, a report from CrowdStrike showed.
While Chinese hacking of U.S. firms was temporarily reduced in 2015 following an agreement between former President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping, China has began rebuilding its hacking arsenal since 2017, with operations transitioning from "smash and grab" schemes to credential theft campaigns that enabled stealthy network intrusions, according to CrowdStrike Head of Intelligence Adam Meyers.
The findings come after China's hacking program was regarded by FBI Director Christopher Wray to be the largest worldwide.
"They have stolen more Americans personal and business data than every other nation combined," said Wray before the House Homeland Security Committee in November.
U.S. critical infrastructure organizations have been noted by the Department of Homeland Security to be at risk of cyberattacks leveraging artificial intelligence, with China and other nation-states exploiting the technology to deploy more advanced malware attacks and influence operations, CyberScoop reports.
Russia-based threat actors have been blamed by Bermuda Premier David Burt for being behind significant internet outages across the British overseas territory and another government in the Caribbean, reports The Record, a news site by cybersecurity firm Recorded Future.