Chinese IT Giant Lenovo Banned by US State Department
You got that right, the US State Department just announced that all Lenovo-made personal computers/laptops/Android running devices, well, you name it, are not allowed anymore inside the secure US networks.
Basically, Lenovo cannot supply anymore IT equipment for intelligence agencies in US and worldwide due to very serious concerns regarding their products being vulnerable to hacking.
Along with the US State Department, the ban is in place in countries like the United Kingdom, Canada, New Zealand and Australia, apparently in all Anglo-Saxon countries.
The first banning attempts for Lenovo’s products started in mid 2000’s, just after IBM sold its PC/Laptop division to the Chinese state owned company in 2005. Soon after that,various intelligence agencies claimed that Lenovo’s computers are vulnerable to back-door attacks. After intensive forensic testing, over 16 000 newly bought Lenovo computers which were to be used on classified networks in the US were put on hold, due to security concerns, and that was back in 2006.
The problem with Lenovo’s products are not only software or firmware related. As you may already know, absolutely every smart device running an operating system is prone to be hacked via a vulnerability in its firmware/software, called exploit, or via a Trojan software installed on the device.
In Lenovo’s case, hardware backdoors were discovered inside their computers, allowing hackers easy and stealthy access by remote. A hardware backdoor is very tough to spot if it’s smart designed and implemented and it also suggests premeditation, meaning that Lenovo built those computers/smartphones with the clear intention to be “hackable”.
And that explains why intelligence agencies like GCHQ, MI5,MI6, the Australian Security Intelligence Organization and the NSA are all in perfect agreement when it comes to restrict the access of Lenovo’s products in their organizations.
Not only Lenovo is in a tough spot, also another Chinese IT manufacturing company, Huawei, is under scrutiny in UK, due to a report from the Intelligence and Security Committee, which suggests that Huawei could represent a serious security threat to the United Kingdom telecom industry.