New York Spent Over $28 Million Vulnerable On Chinese Technology. New Procurements Should Close that Door

The State of New York is home to world’s financial markets, a leader in modern optics and electronics, a hub for biotech innovation, and, soon, potentially the next Silicon Valley of semiconductor design and manufacturing. Those industries also make it a prime target for state-sponsored cyber-attackers. Yet, the state’s procurement policies provide little insight into what, if any, guardrails exist to prevent government purchases from Chinese state-owned manufacturers, whose products may contain built-in vulnerabilities. Recently the New York Office of General Services requested bids for a significant hardware technology purchase, which will likely be decided in the weeks ahead. China Tech Threat contacted the office to understand whether they consider federal restrictions on technology makers and how they weigh the… Read More

New Hampshire Spends Over $1 million on Restricted Chinese-Owned Products

This weekend, President Joe Biden expressed that his administration is ready for “extreme competition” with China. This is a welcomed approach as China Tech Threat continues to report on the danger of Chinese cyber threats to the US.  One of the largest threats comes from state governments continuing to purchase U.S. military-restricted equipment. This includes buying products from Lenovo, a Chinese-owned company that has been restricted by multiple military and intelligence agencies in the U.S. and around the globe because of security deficiencies. Through a FOIA request, we found that New Hampshire has spent almost $1 million on Lenovo products and $8,000 on Lexmark products, in recent years giving the Chinese government having access and control over all data on… Read More

Semiconductors are the New Oil: Looking ahead at the Semiconductor Market in 2021

In a webinar hosted by Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) last week, participants emphasized the importance of the industry and expressed great expectations for its growth in the coming years. C.J. Muse, Senior Managing Director and Head of Global Semiconductor Research at Evercore ISI, said that while 2020 was a turbulent year for the industry, it was also “the year that there was recognition of the secular importance of semiconductors driving the digitalization across nearly every industry vertical.” His fellow participant, Dale Ford, Chief Analyst at the Electronic Components Industry Association (ECIA) also expressed optimism for the market, suggesting that if trend rates continue, the semiconductor industry will generate $750 billion in revenues by 2030 and could reach $1 trillion by… Read More

Report: COVID-19 has Exacerbated Cyber Threats from China

State-sponsored cyber-attackers have “capitalized” on the global Coronavirus pandemic, a new report by Recorded Future and the Insikt Group finds. “Throughout the pandemic, the tactics used by threat actors have evolved to focus on the most pressing, timely concerns and exploit those public fears and uncertainty that present the greatest opportunity for successful victimization,” the report states. China has coordinated “aggressive” disinformation campaigns targeting Western democracies to build support for their own systems of governance, which is part of a broader long-term campaign. Both countries also targeted health care industries to steal business information and gain an economic advantage. In May of last year, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the FBI issued a joint statement warning that China… Read More

China May Lag with Semiconductor Goals, But They Continue to Make Progress Through YMTC

Earlier this week Scott Foster, an analyst for Tokyo-based Lightstream Research and frequent Asia Times columnist, opined on China’s efforts to achieve their Made in China 2025 goals, with a specific focus on semiconductors. Foster makes a few main points: 1 – China is failing to fulfill its ambitious goals. For example, the country set a goal of producing 70% of their own needed semiconductors by 2025, but that they will not even account for 20%. 2 – On the other hand, China has been and will continue to invest in semiconductor manufacturing equipment, which is manifest in increased production. As proof, China’s spending on wafer fab equipment has doubled in the past five years and, consequently, the value of… Read More

China Is Targeting the Incoming Administration, Says Intel Official

The Chinese government has ramped up its influence campaign since the U.S. election, with a focus on personnel in the incoming Biden-Harris administration a senior U.S. intelligence official said earlier this month. U.S. intelligence agencies had expected an “uptick” of maligned influence activity and that China would “revector their influence campaigns to the new administration,” William Evanina, director of the US National Counterintelligence and Security Center, said during an Aspen Institute virtual Cyber Summit on December 2. “We’re starting to see that play across the country to not only the folks starting in the new administration, but those who are around those folks.” At the same event, John Demers, Assistant Attorney General for National Security, revealed that some 1,000 Chinese… Read More

Are U.S. Semiconductor Makers Getting Played by China?

Last month senior Chinese officials met to discuss steps to ramp up the country’s semiconductor making capabilities. The purpose of those talks was to set a course to onshore production of “third-generation” chips, the most advanced type necessary to run emerging technologies. Semiconductor and semiconductor-manufacturing equipment (SME) makers that “still believe China is a viable long-term business are kidding themselves,” columnist Tim Culpan wrote last week. “We should expect to see more money, more policy favoritism, and more attention from party cadres aimed at ensuring the establishment of big successful [Chinese] chip and software firms,” Culpan warns. American SME makers would be “foolish to not understand that local rivals, backed by Beijing, are doing everything possible to replicate their products.”… Read More

Three Approaches to SME Companies: Supporting the Balanced Approach

In the past weeks we have covered the concerning rise of China’s semiconductor industry and the risks it could pose to U.S. national security.  We focused specifically on three semiconductor manufacturing equipment companies – namely, SMIC, YMTC, and CXMT – that have ties to the Chinese military.  The question then is how can the United Sates act to curtail these companies and protect national security interests. In Dr. Roslyn Layton’s recent analysis, she outlined three broad categories of responses the United States could take.  The first she described as a “No Restrictions” approach in which there would be no changes to export control policy with regard to companies that work within the Chinese semiconductor supply chain.  The second is one… Read More

FCC Efforts to Address Threats from Adversarial Foreign Owners, Part 1 of 2

Dr. Roslyn Layton submitted comments to the Federal Communications Commission on a proposed federal rule; Executive Order 1391 empowers federal agencies to directly address long-neglected threats from adversarial foreign owners. This blog post provides except including background on the necessity of the rule, followed by 3 main points. This blog post includes only the background and point #1. Points 2 and 3 will post soon. In explaining the need for the FCC’s rule, Dr. Layton writes: “The US faces an existential threat to its security from the Chinese government. This has been excessively documented but has been met with relatively limited policy response until recently. Sources for this information include some twenty years of reports from Congress’ bipartisan United States… Read More

CTT Co-Founder Roslyn Layton: Government Accountability Office Report: DoD Cybersecurity Through the COVID-19 Crisis – Part 1

Part 2 of Dr. Layton’s blog will be published on Thursday, April 23. Please check back on that date for more information on the GAO report regarding DOD cyber security. An estimated 90 percent of cyberattacks to Department of Defense and armed forces could be avoided by its users practiced good “cyber hygiene”, the equivalent to washing your hands for computer systems, according to DOD’s Principal Cyber Advisor.[1] Its new report by the General Accountability Office (GAO)  Cybersecurity: DOD Needs to Take Decisive Actions to Improve Cyber Hygiene explains that the Department of Defense (DoD) has failed to implement its own cyber initiatives on culture, discipline, and awareness from 2015 despite have the time and budget to do so.  The… Read More