US military purchased $32.8m worth of electronics with known security risks

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US military purchased $32.8m worth of electronics with known security risks
US military purchased $32.8m worth of electronics with known security risks

US Department of Defense (DoD) workers have purchased gadgets worth over $32.8 million in the financial year 2018 that have been known to contain security vulnerabilities,

a report by the Pentagon’s overseer general said a week ago.

These acquisitions were made by Army and Air Force workers utilizing installment cards issued

by the legislature for miniaturized scale buys of under $10,000.

Because of these buys, the DOD’s Inspector General accepts the Army and Air Force are bringing defenseless gear into their systems that might be

misused by US enemies.

The report explicitly recorded Lexmark printers, GoPro cameras, and Lenovo PCs as risky items, as models.


“Armed force and Air Force GPC [government buy card] holders obtained more than 8,000 Lexmark printers, totaling more than $30 million,

for use on Army and Air Force arranges,” the DOD Inspector General (DODIG) report said.

Buying printers from Lexmark was a major mix-up, inspectors stated,

referring to a 2018 Congressional report on production network vulnerabilities that cautioned against utilizing Lexmark gadgets,

guaranteeing the China-based organization had associations with the Chinese military, and the nation’s atomic, and cyber espionage programs.

What’s more, the DODIG likewise called attention to that Lexmark printers have been affected by in excess of 20 vulnerabilities previously, “counting

US military purchased $32.8m worth of electronics with known security risks

“These vulnerabilities could enable remote aggressors to utilize an

associated Lexmark printer to direct cyberespionage or dispatch a

putting away and transmitting a touchy system get to accreditations in plain content and permitting the execution of malignant code on the printer.”

disavowal of administration assault on a DoD to organize,” the DODIG said.

However, in an announcement sent to ZDNet, Brad Clay, Lexmark Senior

Vice President, and Chief Information and Compliance Office, said he was

“disillusioned” and “unequivocally couldn’t help contradicting the portrayal of Lexmark in the DoD Inspector General Audit,” calling Lexmark’s relationship with the Chinese government “unwarranted.”

US military purchased $32.8m worth of electronics with known security risks


Moreover, the Army and Air Force additionally purchased 117 GoPro activity cameras worth about $98,000.

“In any case, the cameras have vulnerabilities that could permit remote

aggressor access to the put-away system qualifications and live video streams,” examiners said.

“By misusing these vulnerabilities,

a noxious on-screen character could see the video stream, begin recording, or take pictures without the client’s information.”


However, the greatest issue was with Lenovo PCs.

But not the most expensive buys, the DODIG featured a few issues with purchasing Lenovo gear, for example,

the various security alerts issued by the US government against utilizing these gadgets.

For instance, in 2006, the State Department prohibited the utilization of

Lenovo PCs on their arranged systems after reports that Lenovo PCs were made with shrouded equipment or programming utilized for cyberespionage.

The DHS issued a comparative cautioning in 2015 about Lenovo PCs containing pre-introduced spyware, alongside different basic vulnerabilities.

In 2016, the Joint Chiefs of Staff Intelligence Directorate likewise issued its very own caution about Lenovo,

cautioning that handheld Lenovo gadgets could bring traded off equipment into the DoD production network,

making a cyberespionage hazard to arranged and unclassified DoD systems.

Be that as it may, notwithstanding all these past alerts, the Army purchased

195 Lenovo items in 2018, totaling just shy of $268,000, and the Air Force

acquired another 1,378 Lenovo items for $1.9 million.


The report featured that DOD offices have frequently overlooked past digital security alarms when making these little miniaturized scale buys.

For instance, the report expressed that Lexmark printers were as yet accessible for buy through the Navy-Marine Corps Intranet COTS [commercial off-the-shelf] Catalog and have been affirmed for use on the Navy organize as of late as February 2019 – this notwithstanding the US government cautioning against utilizing gadgets from this merchant.

The DODIG report accused these issues of DOD the board blunders. Reviewers said the DOD neglected to set up a division to build up a

procedure for overseeing cybersecurity dangers and which could assemble a rundown of endorsed items that DOD staff members could counsel before making buys.

Examiners said the DOD attempted to do this previously – to be specific with

the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering

Joint Federated Assurance Center – yet the DOD neglected to concede operational ability, which means the organization just existed on paper.

The DODIG report, titled “Review of the DoD’s Management of the Cybersecurity Risks for Government Purchase Card Purchases of

Commercial Off-the-Shelf Items,

” is a window in the US’ greatest national security issue at the present time – which is inventory network assaults.

The National Counterintelligence and Security Center (NCSC),

some portion of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, declared April 2019 as National Supply Chain Integrity Month,

trying to get state organizations and the private segment to audit their supply chains, and observe hardware

and programming they were purchasing from known US enemies, for example, China.

Prior this week, two US representatives have additionally presented a bipartisan bill named the Manufacturing,

Investment, and Controls Review for Computer Hardware, Intellectual Property,

and Supply (MICROCHIPS) Act,

trying to get the US government to pass a law for the production of a state organization for testing equipment and programming that goes into the inventory network of the US military and other bureaucratic offices.

With political pressures with China at an untouched high,

US government authorities dread that a potential episode between the two nations could effect affect US IT framework,

which is presently loaded with Chinese-made gear.

US military purchased $32.8m worth of electronics with known security risks