Critical Alert: Understanding and Mitigating the Volt Typhoon Threat to U.S. Critical Infrastructure

In an urgent and significant development, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) has partnered with U.S. and international government agencies to release a Joint Cybersecurity Advisory. This advisory casts a spotlight on the menacing activities of a People’s Republic of China (PRC) state-sponsored cyber actor, known as Volt Typhoon. This group's actions pose a severe threat to critical infrastructure sectors in the United States and its territories.

The Growing Threat of Volt Typhoon

The advisory reveals that Volt Typhoon has successfully infiltrated key sectors including communications, energy, transportation, and water and wastewater. This is not just a breach of digital security; it's a direct threat to the physical safety of Americans and could critically impair military readiness in times of crisis or conflict. The evidence gathered strongly suggests that the PRC is strategically positioning itself to launch potentially destructive cyberattacks.

Shifting Tactics: From Espionage to Disruption

What's particularly alarming about Volt Typhoon's activities is their shift from traditional espionage to pre-positioning for disruptive cyberattacks against U.S. critical infrastructure. This change in strategy is marked by the use of "living off the land" techniques. These methods allow cyber actors to blend seamlessly into normal system and network activities, evading detection by standard network defenses and minimizing the traces left in common logging configurations.

Today's Advisory and Joint Guidance

The advisory issued today is primarily based on technical insights from CISA and industry response activities within victim organizations in the identified sectors. To complement this, CISA and partners have also released Joint Guidance. This guidance is a culmination of insights from these incidents, previously published products, red team assessments, and collaboration with industry partners. It aims to equip organizations with the knowledge to effectively hunt for and detect sophisticated techniques employed by groups like Volt Typhoon.

Our Stance and Recommendations

At Critical Path Security, we understand the gravity of this situation and urge all organizations, especially those in the targeted sectors, to take immediate action. It's crucial to review and implement the recommendations provided in the Joint Guidance to safeguard against these advanced threats. This includes:

  • Enhancing detection capabilities to identify "living off the land" activities.
  • Regularly updating and patching systems to mitigate vulnerabilities.
  • Conducting thorough and regular security audits and red team assessments.
  • Enhancing awareness and training among staff to recognize potential cyber threats.


The emergence of Volt Typhoon as a significant threat to U.S. critical infrastructure is a stark reminder of the evolving and sophisticated nature of state-sponsored cyber threats. We at Critical Path Security are committed to providing the latest information and guidance to help organizations defend against these escalating cyber threats. For more detailed information, we recommend visiting the "People's Republic of China Cyber Threat" page, and as always, our team is here to assist with any cybersecurity concerns.

Stay informed, stay vigilant.