Thu 17 November 2022:
The popular short-form video sharing app TikTok has been dubbed a “national security threat” by FBI Director Christopher Wray amid worries that the Chinese government would utilize the data of millions of users.
Wray told the US House of Representatives Homeland Security Committee during a hearing on “worldwide threats to the homeland” that the Chinese government had a high possibility of weaponizing the data of around 80 million Americans.
He claimed that ByteDance embeds specific application programming interfaces (APIs) in the short-form video app which gives Beijing access to “control data collection of millions of users or control the recommendation algorithm, which can be used for influence operations, or to control software on millions of devices, which gives the opportunity to potentially technically compromise personal devices.”
The FBI chief called the foreign intelligence and economic threat from China “the greatest long-term threat to our nation’s ideas, innovation, and economic security.”
“China’s fast-hacking program is the world’s largest, and they have stolen more of Americans’ personal and business data than every other nation combined,” he said.
Wray said that there has been a surge in cybersecurity cases, throwing a challenge to the FBI.
“We’re investigating over 100 different ransomware variants and each one of those with scores of victims as well as a whole host of other novel threats posed by both cybercriminals and nation-states alike,” he said.
SOURCE: INDEPENDENT PRESS AND NEWS AGENCIES
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