I have a little bit of previous insight into the threats posed using foreign designed and built equipment, most of which can’t be shared with the general public.
A few months ago, I was interviewed by the Editor of Supply Chain and Demand Executive Magazine, where I specifically mentioned threats posed by Lenovo computers……
Perhaps, someone in the Pentagon read my interview, which resulted in a recent warning they issued about the use of Lenovo computers in DoD systems. (Disclaimer: Decision was likely not solely based on my interview…..)
But they did it! Finally acknowledging the threats Lenovo, a company publicly known to be owned by the Chinese Government, pose to our national defense networks. As a business owner, I have no personal issue with Lenovo, as we even use a few of their laptops for ourselves. They run well, good customer service and that’s two things most PC users are worried about.
But using them on even UNCLAS networks, considering the sensitive personnel information that is often shared, which to the trained eye, could be pieced together with other nuggets, to give a non-friendly nation some great insight to our operations.
Here’s a few tidbits from the Free Beacon article on Lenovo……
Lenovo purchased Motorola Mobility, the company’s cell phone division in 2014, and has sought to buy the Canadian cell phone maker BlackBerry in the past.
Lenovo in the past has denied its products are engaged in cyber espionage. “Lenovo has been a trusted supplier of information technology in the U.S. since 2005 when it bought the IBM ThinkPad PC business,” the company said in a statement. “Every single company selling technology to the U.S. government—including HP, Dell, Cisco, Apple, and Lenovo—use foreign components in their products. So it’s critical that the U.S. continue to follow a standards-based process that allows for procurement of technology that is both cutting edge and totally secure.”
U.S. intelligence agencies in August 2015 warned that Lenovo, along with another Chinese-government-linked firm, Huawei Technologies, had shipped some 80,000 computers to several nations in the Caribbean. The computers were found to contain spyware that can permit remote intrusions.
The cyber spying concerns are not limited to the Pentagon.
The Australian Financial Review newspaper reported in 2013 that all of the “Five Eyes” intelligence services—those in the United States, Britain, Australia, Canadian, and New Zealand—strictly prohibit the use of Lenovo computers over concerns about the potential for cyber espionage.