An unexpected parcel of embedded microprocessors was found by Russian custom agents while inspecting shipments from China. After revision of a consignment of irons and kettles, mounted chips and microprocessors were found inside of several goods. If the detected devices would cross the border and get inside suitable environment that might cause a cyber threat. Otherwise, a spyware getting in unsecured Wi-Fi networks would provide immediate access to cybercriminals.
This is not a single found made by recent times, plenty of hacked electronics comes straight from the Chinese factories and find its users who even unaware a possibility of such threat.
Millions of ordinary people around a world simply don’t understand reliability of such event. Meanwhile, great amount of kettles, laptops, cameras, smartphones and even USB kits infected with malware plugged into their personal devices.
Some of such devices being installed in all dual-plate Chinese-Hong Kong vehicles in 2011. Hong Kong newspaper Apple Daily informed about such case. It said that devices were masked as “inspection and quarantine cards,” and were installed free of charge by China’s Shenzhen Inspection and Quarantine Bureau.
The same thing took place in 2010, in Japan. China-made memory cards in Olympus Stylus Tough cameras have infected computers. It was only a week after an identical virus was uncovered in the Samsung smartphones memory cards.
Recently found chips and microprocessors targeted only unprotected WiFi networks and might cause the threat in case to be plugged with steam environment in Russia. In the United States, where most networks are protected with a password, it wouldn’t be much of a risk.
Experts determine this threat as an ambiguous, but as a serious danger in future and only as a tip of the iceberg.
“Who’s to say these things couldn’t be put into any device on anybody’s home network,” he said. “They could be in anything you plug in. Anything that gets power, this kind of thing can be hidden inside it.”
A presence of malicious spyware embedded into gadgets and other electronics manufactured in China was under American authorities’ suspicion of giving the Chinese government the chance to access sensitive information.
Yet, the coming out of China infected equipment is an ongoing problem.
Frequently exposed by security researchers “backdoors” in Chinese routers are programming errors left by the creators. Former NSA employee Craig Heffner uncovered several backdoors in routers from Chinese manufacturer Tenda, which sells Medialink routers, as well routers from D-Link.
Among the companies that got into American blacklist is one of the leading routers builder Huaveii. Apparently pose an espionage threat Huaveii and ZTE have been upheld by governments around the world, including in Taiwan and Australia. “This stuff is distrusting,” said security researcher Dan Kaminsky. “If I were to teach someone from scratch how to write binary exploits, these routers would be what I’d demonstrate on.”
According to Wisniewski, the nature of the threats – makes it difficult to prove guilt.
“The problem is there’s a scarcity of truth, and there is unlimited room for speculation,” Wisniewski said. “Only the person who wrote the code knows.”