What is Volt Typhoon, the alleged Chinese-backed hacking group worrying the US?

Cybersecurity firms believe several groups targeting governments, military organizations, corporations and media groups are backed by the Chinese government. That’s what Western intelligence services and Microsoft said recently

Volt Typhoon

a Chinese hacker group, had been spying on a number of key US infrastructure organizations – from telecommunications to transportation hubs.

Cybersecurity experts say such groups become more dangerous as they shift their focus from intelligence gathering to digital sabotage. That’s what Microsoft said in a blog post this week


Typhoon pursued “the development of capabilities that could disrupt critical communications infrastructure between the United States and the Asian region in future crises.”

espionage purposes

Reuters news agency quoted Marc Burnard of Secureworks, a subsidiary of Dell Technologies, as saying that Volt Typhoon appears focused on stealing information from “organizations that hold data related to the military or government in the United States states”. Burnard said the group’s activities indicated it was being used “primarily for espionage purposes.”

Microsoft also stated that its assessment was “moderate confidence,” meaning its theory was plausible and credible, but had not yet been fully confirmed. Now a US technology company


stressed it had seen disturbing evidence that Volt Typhoon was preparing for something dangerous.

Cisco pointed out that the company was hired to deal directly with a case at a critical infrastructure facility where hackers were looking for documentation showing how the facility worked and they didn’t seem to care about money, they say in the report.

Microsoft and other researchers pointed out that Volt Typhoon was a silent operator that hid its traffic by routing it through hacked network devices like home routers and erasing evidence of intrusions from the victim’s logs.

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China denies hacker attacks

China has denied involvement in the Volt Typhoon case, but documentation of Beijing’s cyber espionage campaigns has been mounting for more than 20 years.

“Spying has come under increasing focus over the past decade, as Western researchers have blamed violations on certain units of the People’s Liberation Army, and U.S. law enforcement have accused a number of Chinese officials of stealing American secrets,” the Reuters report said.

According to Secureworks, Volt Typhoon’s interest in operational security likely stemmed from embarrassment at the drumbeat of US indictments and “increasing pressure from the (Chinese) leadership to avoid public scrutiny of its cyberespionage activities.”