Stopping Chinese cyberattacks is officially now the biggest priority for US security forces

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The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has shuffled its priorities to place battling the “cyber and other threats posed by the People’s Republic of China” at the top of the list, at least until the end of 2025.

China has been conducting numerous cyber attacks against US infrastructure, particularly focussing on internet-facing endpoints within water facilities.

The DHS also wants to focus on reducing reliance on satellites for communications, battling the risks posed by AI, stamping out supply chain vulnerabilities and prepping critical infrastructure to be resilient against climate change.

A matter of national security 

In a statement, DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said, “From the banking system to the electric grid, from health care to our nation’s water systems and more, we depend on the reliable functioning of our critical infrastructure as a matter of national security, economic security, and public safety.”

“The threats facing our critical infrastructure demand a whole of society response and the priorities set forth in this memo will guide that work. I look forward to continuing our work with partners at all levels of government and the private sector to better ensure the safety of all Americans,” Mayorkas continued.

Alongside the threat to national security, the DHS also has concerns about other Chinese activity in financial markets, industry, and “traditional espionage” such as intellectual property theft. China has recently been stepping up rhetoric against Taiwan, prompting the US to invest in diversifying the semiconductor industry outside of Taiwan, particularly on domestic turf via the CHIPS act.

CISA Director Jen Easterly said, “Through close collaboration with our partners, CISA and the Department are working towards safer and more secure critical infrastructure to ensure the functioning of government, the delivery of essential services, and the protection of the American people.”

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Benedict Collins
Staff Writer (Security)

Benedict has been writing about security issues for close to 5 years, at first covering geopolitics and international relations while at the University of Buckingham. During this time he studied BA Politics with Journalism, for which he received a second-class honours (upper division). Benedict then continued his studies at a postgraduate level and achieved a distinction in MA Security, Intelligence and Diplomacy. Benedict transitioned his security interests towards cybersecurity upon joining TechRadar Pro as a Staff Writer, focussing on state-sponsored threat actors, malware, social engineering, and national security. Benedict is also an expert on B2B security products, including firewalls, antivirus, endpoint security, and password management.