Speaking Thursday at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, FBI Director Christopher Wray described how his agency saw an increase in Russian cyberattacks at the start of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine last year, and he chastised the Chinese for their artificial intelligence program.
Wray stated that at the start of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, the FBI observed an increase in Russian attempts to carry out cyberattacks.
“We did see, as the conflict escalated and intensified, an effort by Russian intelligence services – which have been conducting malicious cyberactivity against US infrastructure for years,” he said.
MORE: China has stolen more American data than any other country: Wray Wray, Director of the FBI, also took aim at another US competitor: China.
He predicted that China’s artificial intelligence program would cause more harm than good. Chinese officials have previously reacted to criticism of their cybersecurity by calling such comments “baseless attacks” and “malicious smear[s].”
PHOTO: FBI Director Christopher Wray listens on January 19, 2023, at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
On January 19, 2023, FBI Director Christopher Wray listens at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
Markus Schreiber/Associated Press
“The Chinese government has the largest hacking program in the world,” Wray said. “And their AI program is not bound by the rule of law, and is built on massive troves of intellectual property and sensitive data that they’ve stolen over the years, and will be used, unless checked, to advance that same hacking program — to advance that same intellectual property — to advance the repression that occurs not just back home in mainland China, but increasingly as a product that they export around the world.”
Wray has used his bully pulpit as FBI director to raise the specter of China’s growing international influence, as well as the ability of so-called hack and steal programs to further their goals.
The Justice Department charged a Chinese national last month with harassing a Chinese dissident in Boston.
Wray also expressed concern at the forum about the amount of data collected by autonomous vehicles and how it could be used to harm citizens.