Thursday, December 22, 2011

Electronic Components May Contain Cyberspying Threat

Even “legitimate” electronic components made in China and other countries may contain dangerous surprises.  There is growing concern that such components may include the hidden ability to spy on US telecom and computer network data.

According to a Bloomberg report, the Obama administration is pressing US telecom companies to reveal information about such possible electronic espionage attempts.  The government is using Cold War powers to pressure companies to provide the information.

“This is beyond vague suspicions,” said Richard Falkenrath, a senior fellow in the Council on Foreign Relations Cyberconflict and Cybersecurity Initiative. “Congress is now looking at this as well, and they’re doing so based on very specific material provided them in a classified setting by the National Security Agency,” he said.

This is a growing area of concern. Watch for additional and widening investigations.  Now we test electronic components to ensure that they do what is expected of them. Soon we may be testing them to make sure they only do what is expected, with no hidden functions or capabilities.