The disastrous outage of mobile phone service at AT&T was just a fraction of what “will happen” in the United States when China invades Taiwan, a US senator has warned.
About 74,000 users on AT&T’s network were unable to make calls Thursday, and thousands more on other networks were without service, according to DownDetector. Thousands more on other networks were left without service.
“I don’t know the cause of the AT&T blackout,” said Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, top Republican on the Intelligence Committee.
“But I do know that it will be 100 times worse when China launches a cyberattack against the United States on the eve of an invasion of Taiwan. And it won’t just be your cell phone service that will be affected, but also your electricity, your water and your bank,” he continued.
“I don’t know the cause of the AT&T blackout,” said Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, top Republican on the Intelligence Committee. “But I do know that it will be 100 times worse when China launches a cyberattack against the United States on the eve of an invasion of Taiwan.”
The FBI and Department of Homeland Security are currently investigating the outages as a possible cyberattack. The downed cellular connection left some without the ability to call 911 in case of emergencies.
His Florida Republican colleague, Carlos Giménez, echoed Rubio’s sentiment. He posted on X: ‘Okay, Senator @marcorubio! “Communist #China will continue to work overtime to undermine America and the free world.”
China recognizes Taiwan as its territory and has not ruled out using force to bring it under Beijing’s control.
While the United States does not formally recognize Taiwan, it is the island’s main ally and supplier of military equipment, a thorn in the side of relations between Washington and Beijing.
The US State Department this week authorized the sale of an advanced tactical data link system worth $75 million to Taiwan.
According to DownDetector, the number of reported outages rose to more than 70,000 shortly after 7 a.m. Thursday.
Service interruptions have been reported across the country, with the first outages occurring around 4 a.m. Eastern Time.
Days ago, FBI Director Christopher Wray warned that China’s ability to conduct cyber attacks has grown to a “larger scale than we have seen before.”
While the Munich Security Conference focused largely on the wars ravaging Ukraine and the Middle East, Wray warned politicians and intelligence officials not to lose sight of a more subtle threat: Beijing’s goals of planting malware inside of America’s critical infrastructure.
Wray cited Volt Typhoon, the nickname given to the Chinese hacking network that infiltrated the United States last year, but said it is just the “tip of the iceberg.”
Under the ‘Volt Typhoon’, Beijing’s military has infiltrated more than 20 major suppliers in the last year alone, including a water company in Hawaii, a major West Coast port and at least one oil and gas pipeline, they revealed. analysts weeks ago.
They have bypassed elaborate cybersecurity systems by intercepting unmonitored passwords and logins by junior employees, leaving China “sitting on a stockpile of strategic vulnerabilities.”
“It’s very clear that Chinese attempts to compromise critical infrastructure are in part to pre-position themselves to be able to disrupt or destroy that critical infrastructure in the event of a conflict,” said Brandon Wales of the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Department. Security Agency.
The United States faces growing concern over cyber and satellite attacks by Chinese President Xi Jinping (left) and Russian President Vladimir Putin (right).
In August, hackers were seen attempting to penetrate systems managed by the Public Utility Commission of Texas and the Electric Reliability Council of Texas that supply power to the state.
But Hawaii is believed to be the most important target, given the crucial role it would play for the United States if conflict broke out over Taiwan.
In May, Microsoft discovered Chinese attempts to infiltrate dozens of sectors in Guam, the closest US territory to Taiwan.
Volt Typhoon attacked communications, manufacturing, utilities, transportation, construction, maritime, government, information technology, and educational organizations.
It also comes after House Intelligence Chairman Mike Turner last week demanded President Biden declassify information related to an urgent national security threat, which was later revealed to be related to anti-satellite capabilities. From Russia.
Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday taunted the West with a ride in a modernized Tu-160M supersonic strategic nuclear bomber.
The Biden administration is considering imposing more sanctions on Russia following the death of Putin dissident Alexei Navalny in a Siberian prison.
Since that happened last week, Russia detained an American dancer and charged her with treason for donating $51 to a Ukrainian cause and for the mysterious death of a Russian pilot who defected to Ukraine and was living in Spain.