On February 24, the US government officially confirmed that China had compromised US infrastructure through cyber attacks, including transportation systems. Exactly a month later, on March 24, a major US bridge collapsed after a cargo ship lost control and took out a support beam. | Source: The Gateway Pundit

On early Tuesday morning, a Singaporean-flagged cargo ship crashed into the supports of the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore, Maryland, causing significant damage. The M/V Dali, the cargo ship involved in the incident, was seen suffering a total loss of power at least twice prior to the crash, raising questions about the circumstances leading up to the collision.

However, recent revelations from a CISA Conference in February 2024 shed light on a potential connection between the bridge collapse and cyber attacks on US infrastructure. The US government confirmed that China had compromised various sectors, including transportation, through malicious cyber activities. The group responsible for these attacks, identified as a People’s Republic of China (PRC) state-sponsored cyber actor named Volt Typhoon, had infiltrated critical infrastructure sectors such as communications, energy, transportation, and water and wastewater.

The cybersecurity advisory published on February 7, 2024, provided details on the efforts of the PRC to conceal their hacking activities, as well as guidance on detecting and mitigating such threats. The joint advisory issued by CISA, NSA, FBI, and other government agencies urged organizations to be vigilant and take immediate action to prevent potential cyber-attacks that could jeopardize national security and infrastructure.

CISA Director Jen Easterly emphasized the importance of addressing the threat posed by PRC cyber actors, citing the need for collaborative efforts between government, industry, and international partners. The advisory and accompanying guidance highlighted the tactics and techniques used by Volt Typhoon, emphasizing the need for proactive detection and mitigation strategies.

Despite the warnings and evidence of cyber threats targeting US critical infrastructure, government officials initially dismissed the Francis Scott Key Bridge incident as a potential attack. This skepticism raised concerns among experts and the public, prompting calls for a thorough investigation into the cause of the collision.

The intersection between cybersecurity threats and physical infrastructure vulnerabilities underscores the need for enhanced security measures and proactive defense mechanisms to safeguard against potential attacks. As the investigation into the bridge collapse continues, the implications of cyber threats on national security and infrastructure resilience remain a pressing concern for policymakers and cybersecurity professionals.

In conclusion, the collision involving the M/V Dali and the Francis Scott Key Bridge serves as a stark reminder of the vulnerabilities inherent in critical infrastructure and the urgent need to address cybersecurity threats to protect national security and ensure the uninterrupted functioning of essential services. The incident highlights the interconnected nature of cyber and physical security, underscoring the importance of proactive risk management and collaborative efforts to mitigate potential threats.