Information technology products made by enterprises owned or influenced by China could be modified to work poorly, conduct espionage or otherwise interfere with government operations, said the report for the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission.
Much of the government’s annual $90bn in spending on information technology is devoted to Chinese products, offering Chinese officials an opportunity to seed U.S. government offices with spyware and electronic back doors that could be exploited for cyberattacks, said Jennifer Bisceglie, chief executive of Interos Solutions, which conducted the study.
“They are doing it,” Bisceglie said. “We’re not even making it difficult right now.”
The study comes amid a deteriorating trade relationship between the United States and China, as President Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping swap tariff threats. After decades of growing commercial ties, Trump has attacked China for “economic aggression” and labeled it a “hostile” economic power.
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