The U.S. is taking a stand in the fight against cyber-espionage.
This step comes after months of warnings from government officials that Chinese hackers have increased their efforts to steal information from U.S. companies.
At the end of March, U.S. President Barack Obama signed a funding law which included restrictions for buying information-technology (IT) systems from China for certain U.S. government agencies. Until September 30, NASA, the National Science Foundation, the Justice and Commerce Departments will be required to get clearance from the FBI before buying IT systems from companies with links to the Chinese government.
On May 1, China struck again, infecting the U.S. Department of Labor’s website with malware. This Chinese based malware is used to attack a vulnerability in older versions of Internet Explorer. An unsuspecting victim visiting the Department of Labor’s website would be redirected to an infected page. Once on the infected page the malware seeks the vulnerability to exploit and take control of your computer.
What is even scarier is the fact that Chinese computer spies have been hacking into the databases of U.S. defense contractors since 2007. Each time these spies have made off with the United States’ most closely guarded technology secrets. These secrets include data on our weapons, fighter jets and the deployment and capabilities of our combat helicopter fleet. These secrets are what help keep our military ahead of other countries, helping keep us safe.
We are all unknowingly at risk of having our computers hacked or receiving a piece of IT equipment with spyware embedded on it. This spyware can open up your computer and give the hacker access to all of your information. On April 23 Verizon released their Data Breach Investigations Report for 2012 data breaches. They found that more than 95% of the cyber-espionage attacks on both small and large organizations originated from China.
If our government isn’t buying hardware from China for risk of it having spyware on it, do you think it is safe for your company?