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Microsoft has warned that a state-sponsored Chinese hacking group has compromised “critical” communications infrastructure in the US in order to disrupt transmissions in the event of any future conflict between the superpowers.

In a rare announcement about a systems breach, the US technology giant said the hackers, codenamed “Volt Typhoon”, have operated since mid-2021. They have been able to infiltrate organisations across a number of industries by exploiting vulnerabilities in a popular cyber security platform called FortiGuard, Microsoft said.

“In this campaign, the affected organisations span the communications, manufacturing, utility, transportation, construction, maritime, government, information technology, and education sectors,” Microsoft said.

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