The Great Wall of China is jokingly known in the cybersecurity world as the 'Great Firewall of China'. As a cyber expert once informed me, if you are on the internet, no matter if you think you are protected, your data has been routed via China and viewed by in-country hackers. Intrusion detection must continuously evolve and respond to novel ways hackers get in by the backdoor. Just as firewalls do not stop data surveillence of the average user's data, large blue chips have also missed this latest government sponsored intrusion.
The latest backdoor effort is bolder - tiny microchips have been inserted by a Chinese military unit into servers used by some of the world's largest tech companies including Apple and Amazon. This intrusion gives China unprecedented access to computers and data, enabling them to steal IP and other secure data and information. It is presumed that these tiny chips, which were designed to be undetectable without specialist equipment, were implanted onto the motherboards of servers during the manufacturing process in China. The hardware alleged to have been compromised was sold by Super Micro Computer, which is based in San Jose and is described as the 'Microsoft of the hardware world', made its way into the data centres and operations of around 30 companies including Apple and Amazon. It also was found in banks, hedge funds and government contractors.
Whilst there is little the average consumer can do to protect herself it is up to large technology bluechips to ensure their manufacturing processes are watertight - secure and free of tampering. Perhaps a move from China to other more secure near-shoring locations is in order.
A Chinese military unit has been inserting tiny microchips into computer servers used by companies including Apple and Amazon that give China unprecedented backdoor access to computers and data, according to a new Bloomberg report. The tiny chips, as small as the tip of a sharpened pencil and designed to be undetectable without specialist equipment, were implanted on to the motherboards of servers on the production line in China, the report in Bloomberg Businessweek said. Technology shares in Hong Kong fell sharply on Friday led by Lenovo, which lost 23% in morning trade. The chips were reportedly developed by a specialised computer hardware attack unit in the People’s Liberation Army, and gave hackers unfettered access to anything the server did, allowing them to potentially manipulate the server to steal data, contact other servers and alter operations.