Brand New Electronics 'Already Tainted With Malware'

Overseas hackers targeting supply chain, warns congressman
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 12, 2011 4:02 AM CDT
The US needs to be more wary of embedded malware, Langevin warns.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Some computers and other electronic imports are packed with malware before they're even out of the box, a congressional expert on cybersecurity warns. Hackers overseas planning cyber attacks are planting bad codes in components headed for the US, Rep. Jim Langevin tells Reuters. "Corrupting hardware and software is embedded in the supply chain. We have a real challenge on our hands to better secure the supply chain," says Langevin, sponsor of the Executive Cyberspace Coordination Act of 2011.

The problem is affecting consumer electronics as well as systems that hold corporate and government data, according to Langevin, who sits on the House committees on Armed Service and Intelligence. The tainted supply chain is "not something that a lot of people have thought about in the past. They should have thought about it," says a cybersecurity expert at Roger Williams University. "What if you went on a battlefield and hit a button and everything stopped working? It's pretty scary stuff."

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