Lenovo, the Chinese based technology company and second largest personal computer manufacturer by sales volume, has been banned from the secret and top-secret networks of the US, Britain, Canada, New Zealand and Australia because intelligence agencies are concerned that Lenovo systems are vulnerable to being hacked.
Researchers have discovered and documented backdoor hardware and firmware vulnerabilities in Lenovo chips. Computer scientists claim that the back-doors are very hard to identify because they are left in a latent state until someone remotely activates it to either access the file system or disable the machine.
James Turner from the tech research firm IBRS said that most laboratories don’t even have the resources to detect this style of infiltration. You actually have to subject the hardware to specialized tests to discover this fault.
Furthermore, given this attack vector, the US, Britain and the other nations above, worry that the Lenovo products could pose a security threat to intelligence organizations especially since the Chinese based company has ties to the Chinese government.
When the British intelligence agencies, MI6 and MI5, broached the topic, Lenovo seemed oblivious to the news and denied any problems in its chips. Lenovo said:
Our products have been found time and time again to be reliable and secure by our enterprise and public sector customers… We have not received word of any sort of a restriction of sales so we are not in a position to respond to this question. We are looking into this situation closely.
Construe that quote as you will, Lenovo is under fire and will remain so until it can find a way to extricate itself from these allegations.