Monday, October 14, 2013
US fears back-door routes into the net because it's building them too
Hayden described the phenomenon of compromised computer hardware – namely, chips that have hidden "back doors" inserted into them at the design or manufacturing stage – as "the problem from hell". And, he went on, "frankly, it's not a problem that can be solved"
...a back door that would allow secret remote access over the internet. And – here's the really scary bit – the secret entrance couldn't even be closed by switching off the computer's hard disk or reinstalling its operating system.
The reason this is so scary is because virtually every bit of kit that runs the internet – the machine on which you compose your emails, the tablet or smartphone with which you browse the net, the routers that pass on the data packets that comprise your email or your web search, everything – is a computer. So the thought that all this stuff might covertly be compromised in ways that are impossible to detect is terrifying. It's this fear that underpins American (and British) reservations about network products made by the Chinese company Huawei – the suspicions (vehemently denied by Huawei, of course) that the kit has secret back doors installed in it to facilitate the Chinese's cyber-army's penetration of western networks."
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