A member of the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) is calling on the Defense Department to end its pattern of purchasing electronic equipment with known cybersecurity risks, particularly from China.
Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), who chairs the SASC Emerging Threats and Capabilities Subcommittee, issued a letter to Deputy Defense Secretary David Norquist Aug. 27 noting her concern that “despite repeated warning from multiple government agencies, DoD is continuing to purchase and use computers and other electronics with known cyber-security risks” including “equipment from a company with connections to the military and cyber espionage programs of” China.
She singles out Lenovo [LNVGF], China’s largest computer company, and calls out the Defense Department for spending more than $2.1 million on the company’s products last year.
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Vivienne Machi , August 29, 2019
Even after repeated warnings from government officials and agencies pertaining to the use of Lenovo and other Chinese products, the DoD IG found that defense personnel were still procuring the equipment through the COTS program. Seeing this as an inexcusable introduction of vulnerability into defense cyber infrastructure, Senator Joni Ernst penned a letter calling on the Defense Department to end its purchasing and use of Chinese technology products, namely laptops made by Lenovo.
From Senator Ernst: “In 2015, the Department of Homeland Security issued warnings about pre-installed spyware and other vulnerabilities identified in Lenovo computers. Yet, DoD has not yet banned the purchase and use of Lenovo products,” she said.