Iowa Tech Purchases Places Critical Infrastructure Agencies in Jeopardy of Cyberattacks

Just last week, the U.S., NATO and other allies came together to call out China for malicious cyberattacks. It’s the first time that NATO has signed onto a formal condemnation of China’s cyber activities. The authorities  detailed more than 50 different techniques that Chinese state-sponsored actors used to carry out “ransomware incidents and other malicious cyber activity, targeting our critical infrastructure and democratic institutions, as well as exploiting weaknesses in hardware and software supply chains.”  This is not new to us at China Tech Threat. We have been calling out the CPP and state-sponsored actions and technology that put the U.S. at risk. Principally we have exposed 27 states that have been engaging in risky tech contracts with Chinese government-owned… Read More

China Tech Threat Headlines International Event On Global Security Challenges

Last month, China Tech Threat’s Co-Founder John Strand spoke about the future security challenges at the Parliamentary Intelligence-Security Forum (PI-SF) at the Latin American Parliament, or Parlatino, in Panama. The gathering brought together leading US Senators like Bill Cassidy and Marco Rubio; the President of Panama Laurentino Cortizo, members of the European Parliament, and international policymakers working in cybersecurity, anti-money laundering, and cryptocurrency  PI-SF is the brainchild of Robert Pittenger, a former Congressman who led efforts to strengthen US policy toward China, notably with the FIRRMA and ECRA bills updating the Committee on Foreign Investment and export controls (ECRA). Pittenger co-authored a paper on reforms at CFIUS with China Tech Threat co-founder Roslyn Layton. Strand’s message was simple: policymakers must… Read More

CTT Roundtable: U.S. Can’t ‘Balance National Security with Sales’

Dr. Roslyn Layton hosted a roundtable discussion yesterday, How Should BIS Evolve to Ensure the U.S. Leads in Critical Technologies? The event—which coincided with news that President Biden plans to nominate Alan Estevez to head the U.S. Department of Commerce Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS)—featured four former BIS undersecretaries: William Reinsch (Clinton), Mario Mancuso (George W. Bush), Eric Hirschhorn (Obama) and Cordell Hull (Trump). The participants largely applauded Mr. Estevez’s expected nomination, but cautioned that lawmakers on the Senate Banking Committee, which will oversee his confirmation, should be direct in questioning Mr. Estevez about his position on China. “While the jury is out,” Mr. Estevez’s nomination is “encouraging,” Mr. Mancuso said. “The next BIS undersecretary is going to have… Read More

Biden Expected to Tap Alan Estevez to Lead BIS

News outlets report today that President Joe Biden will nominate Alan Estevez to lead the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS). This is a critical and timely appointment as U.S.-China tensions continue to escalate. Mr. Estevez—who served as U.S. Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics and as the DoD representative to the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS)—brings more than three decades of experience in defense technology procurement and supply chain security. That expertise provides an ideal background to head the agency charged with protecting U.S. strategic technological advantages. President Biden’s nomination signals the Administration’s commitment to upholding the United States’ strategic security and suggests the President will direct the BIS… Read More

Rep. Pfluger: We Are Exporting Our Innovation and Subsidizing China’s Ability to Make It

Last week the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee took up the Ensuring American Global Leadership and Engagement (EAGLE) Act, which seeks to boost U.S. competitiveness with China. During the markup (see video starting around 3 hr, 31 min) , Representative August Pfluger (R-TX11) introduced an amendment to add Yangtze Memory Technologies Company (YMTC) to the U.S. Entity List.   “[Semiconductors] are a vital component to every single device, computing product that we use,” Rep. Pfluger said. “The [People’s Republic of China] seeks self-sufficiency in semiconductor manufacturing so it can control the means of production, supply its growing demand for semiconductors both in military and also civilian use, and increase its leverage over trading partners.” In the U.S. Air Force, Rep.… Read More

Bank of American spends over $1 billion on Cybersecurity

In an interview earlier this month, Brian Moynihan, CEO at Bank of America, discussed the doubling of cybersecurity spending by the bank since he began as CEO. He noted that, “I became CEO 11 and a half years ago, and we probably spent three to $400 million [per year] and we’re up over a billion now.” A recent barrage of cyber-attacks across a variety of key industries in the U.S. has placed a new sense of urgency on protecting against cybercrime. Back in May, Cathy Bessant, Chief Operations and Technology Officer at Bank of America, gave a stark warning about cyberattacks on U.S. financial institutions saying, “There’s no question that the rate and pace of attacks, and the nature of… Read More

Senators Introduce Legislation to Address the China Tech Threat

Yesterday, Senators Rubio and Markey introduced the Secure Equipment Act of 2021. According to the press release, the bill is “to direct the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to clarify that it will no longer review, or approve, applications from companies on the Commission’s “Covered List.” It would also halt any further sales or implementation of technology from Huawei, ZTE, Hytera, Hikvision, and Dahua – all Chinese Communist Party (CCP) state-backed or directed firms – in the U.S. regardless of whether federal funds are involved. Here at China Tech Threat, we applaud this bipartisan effort to secure our national security and help protect the privacy, security and prosperity of all Americans. While this bill takes important steps, it is by no… Read More

Cyberattack Hits NY School With US Military Research Contracts

China Tech Threat has been sounding the alarm over New York’s risky tech contracts with Chinese government-owned technology manufacturers including Lexmark and Lenovo, both of which have been banned by the Pentagon. These concerns have cited why New York, home to the world’s financial markets and high-tech research institutions, is such a valuable target. The latest news that Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, a renowned research and engineering school, is the latest cyberattack victim only reinforces these concerns.  An Albany Times Union editorial “High-Tech vulnerability” echoed these concerns writing on the breadth of the threat posed by hackers who have “gotten into computer systems for airports. Telecommunications companies. Airlines. Banks. Health care systems. Insurers. Law enforcement.” In its report that the FBI… Read More

Rasser: Three Principles to Protect U.S. Advantages over China

A report from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence last month offers a candid assessment of the largest threat to U.S. national security: “China increasingly is a near-peer competitor, challenging the United States in multiple arenas—especially economically, militarily, and technologically—and is pushing to change global norms.” Martijn Rasser, Senior Fellow with the Center for New American Security’s Technology and National Security Program, has been ringing that bell for some time. In January Mr. Rasser offered an equally solemn assessment: “For the first time in nearly a century, the United States confronts a strategic rival that is capable of overtaking it as the world’s leading economic, military, and technological power, and one that is economically entangled with the United… Read More

Summarizing CSIS on Getting Traction with BIS Export Controls: Short Term Panic Followed by Predictable Patterns

On Friday, new names emerged as potential nominees for the Undersecretary position in the Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) – or as the New York Times put it, “The Agency at the Center of America’s Tech Fight With China.” While we await an official announcement, Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS) Senior Adviser and Scholl Chair in International Business William Alan Reinsch weighed in on the position at BIS. “I think the most important criterion is to find someone who can listen to the different points of view and produce regulations that will stand up in court and provide reasonable certainty to the business community,” he noted. “Policy decisions about China are going to be… Read More