Chinese ‘Cyberattack’ Will Be ‘100% Worse’ Than Cell Phone Outage, Top Republican Warns

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The recent AT&T network outage, which affected millions of cell phones and access to emergency services across America, would pale in comparison to a cyberattack from China, according to a prominent Republican who warned of an impending attack of the country’s infrastructure.

Americans have become so reliant on cell networks that even a minor disruption could cause untold chaos, as we have already seen with the recent incident.

GOP Sen. Marco Rubio said the recent AT&T outage would be a minor blip compared to a potential cyber attack from America’s biggest adversary, China.

“I don’t know the cause of the AT&T outage,” Rubio posted on X last week. “But I do know it will be 100 times worse when #China launches a cyber attack on America on the eve of a #Taiwan invasion.

“And it won’t be just cell service they hit, it will be your power, your water and your bank.”

The cell phone outages began around 3:30 a.m. ET Thursday, 54% of users reported issues with phone service, while a third of customers said there was no signal. A further 8 percent of customers also reported having no internet.

The most affected locations included:

  • Austin
  • Houston
  • San Antonio
  • Indianapolis
  • Chicago
  • Atlanta
  • Miami
  • Dallas
  • New York City

Time reported that the outages peaked at 74,300 around 9:15 a.m. ET.

Meanwhile, Emergency Management & Communications went down in some areas.

While the cell phone networks were restored after a short time, it serves as a reminder of how a targeted brute force attack could take down the operations of the country’s fragile infrastructure.

Disswire reported earlier this month that U.S. officials began sounding the alarm over a potential cyber attack from China after an operation to plant malware into civilian infrastructure was recently foiled.

FBI director Chris Wray also warned that China is preparing a major attack on America’s power grid in the run-up to the 2024 election.

“China’s hackers are positioning on American infrastructure in preparation to wreak havoc and cause real-world harm to American citizens and communities, if or when China decides the time has come to strike,” Wray said.

While the U.S. increased efforts to dismantle cyber operations, Wray said the threat is bigger than ever.

According to a report from CNBC, Chinese hackers are secretly hiding within U.S. infrastructure:

Chinese hackers have, at times, secretly hidden in U.S. infrastructure for up to five years, ready to conduct a potentially destructive cyberattack if the two countries were to go to war, federal agencies said Wednesday.

The claim was published in a public cybersecurity warning, one of the largest and starkest of its kind, from six U.S. agencies and allied cybersecurity and intelligence agencies from Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the U.K.

However, China denied the hacking allegations after the spokesperson for China’s embassy in Washington, Liu Pengyu, said, “China does not encourage, support, or condone attacks launched by hackers.”

China even attempted to pass the buck, blaming India for such hacking attacks. The SCMP published a piece written by one Zhang Tong, who said that a series of cyber attacks originating from India have been noted in reports from cyber security firms.

It’s worth noting that China’s legal requirement that software companies have to turn over their source code gives them the perfect opportunity to find vulnerabilities in U.S. infrastructure.

Last year, Rep. Michael Waltz (R-FL) told CNN, “What has me even more concerned about the Chinese hackers is that, according to their law, if you’re a software company, like Microsoft, in China, you have to hand over to the government your source code.”

“You have to hand over to the Chinese government when you find vulnerabilities in order to be able to do business there. So, you can imagine someone like Windows handing — or Microsoft handing over the source code to Windows, because they want to continue to make money in China and how that now is affecting our government agencies and our businesses.”

With it being the most important election year in living history, this could be the perfect opportunity for China to attack.

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