China: Cyber Threat Overview

DHS - Office of Intelligence and Analysis

Other | 10/15/2021

China poses a highly advanced cyber threat to the Homeland. The People’s Republic of China (PRC) continues to leverage increasingly sophisticated, large-scale cyber espionage operations against a range of industries, organizations, and dissidents in the United States. China uses cyber means to illicitly obtain US intellectual property, personally identifiable information (PII), and export-controlled information. The PRC launches cyber espionage operations against the United States via People’s Liberation Army (PLA) and Ministry of State Security (MSS) cyber actors. Additionally, the PRC leverages private contractors for cyber operations; these contractors may also conduct cyber operations for personal financial gain. China continues to target key critical infrastructure sectors in the United States, including healthcare and public health, financial services, the defense industrial base, government facilities, communications, and more. The PRC also possesses the capability to launch destructive cyber attacks against the Homeland that, at a minimum, could cause localized, temporary disruptions to critical infrastructure.

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