According to an article in the Financial Post, The China Central Government Procurement Center excluded Microsoft’s Windows 8 operating system from a purchase of energy-efficient computers “to ensure computer security.”
China is also reportedly reviewing whether its domestic banks’ use of IBM servers compromises the country’s financial security, although IBM denied knowing of any such review.
China has reason to know whether US-made technology is secure: The US Department of Justice recently unsealed an indictment of five Chinese army officers on charges of criminal hacking into US businesses’ computer networks.
The Chinese army hackers are charged with invading the systems of US companies like Westinghouse, Alcoa, and US Steel in order to steal trade secrets and other sensitive information – including the design specs for a nuclear power plant.
The officers are members of “Unit 61398” based in Shanghai. The unit’s members use online names like “Ugly Gorilla” and “Kandygoo.”
The Chinese hackers are now on the FBI’s “Wanted” list of cybercriminals. Charges against them include:
- Conspiring to commit computer fraud
- Accessing a computer without authorization for the purpose of commercial advantage and private financial gain
- Damaging computers through the transmission of code and commands
- Aggravated identity theft
- Economic espionage
The indictment charges that for years the Chinese army hackers copied US corporate emails and infected US company computers with malware.
The unit also apparently moonlighted for private Chinese companies seeking business intelligence on American business partners and competitors.
According to US Attorney General Eric Holder,
When a foreign nation uses military or intelligence resources and tools against an American executive or corporation to obtain trade secrets or sensitive business information for the benefit of its state-owned companies, we must say, ‘Enough is enough.’
China has accused the US of hypocrisy in light of Edward Snowden’s disclosures that the US National Security Agency spied on the Chinese network equipment supplier Huawei.
Chinese companies may be pushed by their government to pick “home grown” technology, in hopes of reducing the risk of US snooping, but that doesn’t mean that Chinese computer networks are any more secure than American ones.
All current commercially deployed data security techniques just aren’t good enough to make data truly secure. Real security won’t come until there’s a transition to a completely new model for protecting data. PACid’s patented technology offers one such solution.