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

Introducing High Tech Heist: New Vlog Series on Banking Cybersecurity

China Tech Threat is pleased to introduce High Tech Heist: Vlog Series on Banking Cybersecurity. In the first of the series, Dr. Roslyn Layton speaks with Tom Vartanian, a former federal banking regulator and author of 200 Years of American Financial Panics: Crashes, Recessions, Depressions and the Technology that Will Change It All. “Financial institutions are the number one target of hackers around the planet,” Mr. Vartanian explains. “And that’s not hard to understand because, as Willie Sutton said, that’s where the money is.” Financial organizations must realize that “the bank is the front door, the backdoor is an endless supply chain of vendors and people suppling everything that bank provides – online services, offline services, physical services,” he adds.… 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

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