In brief: It's no secret that China is behind many of the hacks on US businesses and government entities, but the sheer number of attacks originating from the Asian nation is massive. According to the FBI, China is responsible for more cyberattacks on the US than every other country combined.
In a speech called Countering Threats Posed by the Chinese Government Inside the US, Federal Bureau of Investigation director Christopher Wray said that the FBI is running over 2,000 investigations focused on the Chinese government trying to steal US information and technology.
"The Chinese government steals staggering volumes of information and causes deep, job-destroying damage across a wide range of industries---so much so that, as you heard, we're constantly opening new cases to counter their intelligence operations, about every 12 hours or so," he said.
Wray cites the Microsoft Exchange hack, which impacted the networks of 10,000 American companies, as an example of the damage Chinese hackers can cause US industry. He added that another attack by a Chinese government-owned corporation in which source code was stolen from a US wind turbine company in Massachusetts (American Superconductor) resulted in 600 people losing their jobs. The company responsible, Sinovel, then used the stolen source code to sell wind turbines in the US.
Wray accuses China of stealing key technology to succeed in initiatives such as the Made in China 2025 plan and highlighted how the government can control those companies it doesn't own "through embedded Chinese Communist Party cells that are required to exist in virtually any Chinese company of any real size."
In 2015, President Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping signed a cybersecurity pact agreeing that neither country would conduct or knowingly support cyber-enabled theft of intellectual property. Reports that China was ignoring the pact came a month after it was signed, and Wray says China has continued to increase the number of attacks in the years since.
The director summed up with, "There is so much good we could do with a responsible Chinese government: crack down on cyber criminals, stop money launderers, reduce opioid overdose deaths. But at the FBI, we're focused on the reality of the Chinese government today."
h/t: The Reg