The Big Hack: How China Used a Tiny Chip to Infiltrate U.S. Companies

fenderman

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Bloomberg - Are you a robot?

"Two of Elemental’s biggest early clients were the Mormon church, which used the technology to beam sermons to congregations around the world, and the adult film industry, which did not." - Priceless!
 

randytsuch

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Its pretty scary that they were able to add those tiny chips to servers.
Also scary to think where else they could be right now.
 

Fastb

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The article covered many things uncovered in 2015 and 2016. ie: a long time ago.
How far has the Chinese technology come since then? One glimpse: Amazon later found chip with "more sophisticated designs than they’d previously encountered. In one case, the malicious chips were thin enough that they’d been embedded between the layers of" the PCB.
It seems only an Xray of the PCB would find those buried devices.
My takeaway: Scary stuff they found in 2015 and 2016.
What have they found since? It's too early now - the investigations are, or course, not public.
 
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Fastb

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@Mr_D
Fair comment.
Bringing the manufacture of PCBs and products to us or our allies could help.
But what if the capability of those chinese chips was integrated into microprocessors themselves?
a) a chip designer (with loyalty to China) could be inside at Intel, AMD, NVIDIA, etc. And embed the capability of those very limited chinese chips into a powerful micro processor's layout, (the mask) which has millions or billions of transistors?
b) Or the simple firmware from the small chinese chips could be hidden in the extensive firmware of a powerful microprocessor?

The article focused on supply chain security. What about upstream, and the companies that design and fabricate the chips that enter the supply chain?
A product could be designed and built in the US, with a domestic supply chain, and might still have nefarious chinese capability inside....



Maybe I read too many spy novels.....

Fastb
 

handinpalm

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As technology gets more sophisticated, so does the hacking. This article is only the stuff you hear about, which means probably 1% - 2% of what is happening. I am expecting to sign into my bank account one day and find Nothing! Then, all the power goes out, permanently. In the end, we are all going to be fucked. Now, I am going back to play with my chinese cameras. BTW, thanks for starting this cybersecurity sub forum.
 

mark_whocares

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Its like china read about the NSA's Tailored Access Operations (TAO) and got their own ideas...
 
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