Chinese Technology in the ‘Internet of Things’ Poses A New Threat to the West – CISA

The Internet of Things (IoT) has evolved from specialized industrial applications to commonplace use in homes, offices, and some vehicles. These technologies are wonderful for assisting us in our daily lives.

As soon as the United Kingdom decided to ban Huawei from its 5G telecoms networks, the debate over the security threat posed by Chinese equipment resurfaced in the mainstream. The British government recently replaced security equipment provided by Chinese-owned tech companies in key government officials’ offices. This comes after MPs and peers urged the British government to prohibit the use of surveillance equipment manufactured by two Chinese companies, Hikvision and Dahua, which have already been blacklisted by Washington, according to the Financial Post, an American-based publication.

However, there is one threat that has gone unnoticed: the tiny components manufactured by Chinese companies and used in devices linked by the Internet of Things. The Internet of Things (IoT) has progressed from specialized industrial applications to widespread use in homes, offices, and some vehicles. These technologies are fantastic for assisting us in our daily lives, but they also serve as data collectors that can be used by a hostile state such as China to influence, pressure, or threaten an adversary, company, or individual.

All of these interconnected functions are made possible by tiny cellular IoT modules. Unlike semiconductors or 5G base stations, they are rarely marketed as complete products, which help to explain why London and Washington appears to have overlooked the risk. CISA, the US cyber security agency, recently warned of critical vulnerabilities in Chinese-made GPS-enabled IoT devices in cars and motorcycles, according to the publication. They were discovered to have hard-coded admin passwords and other flaws that would allow Chinese suppliers to not only remotely monitor the location of these devices, but also potentially cut off the fuel supply while vehicles were in motion.

Meanwhile, Prof. Fraser Sampson, Commissioner for the Retention and Use of Biometric Material and Commissioner for Surveillance Cameras, praised the UK’s decision to replace the Chinese surveillance system. He told Asian Lite that other government departments would review their existing systems and take his recommendations into account when purchasing surveillance and security equipment. Sampson is a criminal justice expert and the national chair of the Association of Chief Executives of Police and Crime. According to him, the market is flooded with privately owned and unregulated recording devices such as dash cams, mobile phones, and video doorbells, among other things. “These many CCTV cameras in public places are unnecessary. We simply require a system to compile and edit the content in order to make it useful for security purposes “he stated.

Other rights groups have called for Hikvision and Dahua to be banned in the UK because of their involvement in the Chinese government’s repression of Uyghurs in Xinjiang, China. Hikvision and Dahua cameras are widely used in Uyghur concentration camps. Both companies have contracts worth at least $1.2 billion for 11 large-scale surveillance projects throughout the region. According to numerous investigative reports by researchers, think tanks, and foreign media, Chinese authorities have detained up to 1.8 million Uyghurs and other Turkic minorities in internment camps since 2017.


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