ALERT: U.S. Official Says Pre-Infected Computer Tech Entering Co - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

ALERT: U.S. Official Says Pre-Infected Computer Tech Entering Country

MSNBC.COM - Confirming years of warnings from government and private security experts, a top Homeland Security official has acknowledged that computer hardware and software is already being imported to the United States preloaded with spyware and security-sabotaging components.

The remarks by Greg Schaffer, the Department of Homeland Security's acting deputy undersecretary for national protection and programs, came Thursday during a tense exchange at a hearing of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. The panel is considering an Obama administration proposal to tighten monitoring and controls on computer equipment imported for critical government and communications infrastructure.

Schaffer didn't say whether the equipment he was talking about included end-user consumer tech like retail laptops, DVDs and media players. If so, his comments, first reported Friday morning by Fast Company, would be the first time the United States has publicly confirmed that foreign consumer technology is arriving in the country already loaded with nasty bugs like key-logging software, botnet components and even software designed to defeat security programs installed on the same machine.

Msnbc.com has asked DHS to clarify Schaffer's remarks and will update this post when we hear back.

Schaffer made the statement under questioning from Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, who noted that "the issue of software infrastructure (and) hardware built overseas with items embedded in them already by the time they get to the United States ... poses, obviously, security and intellectual property risks."

"A, is this happening, Mr. Schaffer? And, B, what are we going to do to fight back against this?" he asked.

Schaffer began his answer by stating how important the issue is to President Barack Obama. But Chaffetz cut him off and, at Schaffer's request, broadly restated the question to extend it beyond government infrastructure:

"Are you aware of any component software (or) hardware coming to the United States of America that already have security risks embedded into those components?"

Schaffer paused for about 10 seconds before replying:

"I am aware that there have been instances where that has happened."

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Idaho woman arrested following death of 20-month-old child

    Idaho woman arrested following death of 20-month-old child

    Saturday, October 21 2017 5:27 PM EDT2017-10-21 21:27:17 GMT

    TWIN FALLS, Idaho (AP) - Police have arrested a south-central Idaho woman following the death of her 20-month-old child. Authorities arrested 22-year-old Amanda Dunlap of Twin Falls in Boise on Friday and booked her into the Ada County Jail.

    >>

    TWIN FALLS, Idaho (AP) - Police have arrested a south-central Idaho woman following the death of her 20-month-old child. Authorities arrested 22-year-old Amanda Dunlap of Twin Falls in Boise on Friday and booked her into the Ada County Jail.

    >>
  • 2-story ‘Star Wars’ replica in yard for Halloween is big hit

    2-story ‘Star Wars’ replica in yard for Halloween is big hit

    Sunday, October 22 2017 11:24 AM EDT2017-10-22 15:24:08 GMT

    PARMA, Ohio (AP) - A two-story, “Star Wars”-inspired Halloween yard display in Ohio is enticing kids to get toy lightsabers and attracting hundreds of visitors from across the state. Elevator mechanic Nick Meyer, 39, spent about $1,500 and 10 hours a weekend for half a year to build a replica of the four-legged All Terrain Armored Transport, or AT-AT walker. 

    >>

    PARMA, Ohio (AP) - A two-story, “Star Wars”-inspired Halloween yard display in Ohio is enticing kids to get toy lightsabers and attracting hundreds of visitors from across the state. Elevator mechanic Nick Meyer, 39, spent about $1,500 and 10 hours a weekend for half a year to build a replica of the four-legged All Terrain Armored Transport, or AT-AT walker. 

    >>
  • Authorities: 7-year-old boy attacked, killed by 2 pit bulls

    Authorities: 7-year-old boy attacked, killed by 2 pit bulls

    Sunday, October 22 2017 1:20 PM EDT2017-10-22 17:20:20 GMT

    LOWELL, Mass. (AP) - Authorities say a 7-year-old boy was apparently attacked and killed by two pit bulls in Massachusetts. The Middlesex district attorney's office says a preliminary investigation suggests the boy was attacked Saturday in Lowell after entering a fenced area where the dogs were located. Officers responded to a report of an injured child at the home around 6 p.m. and found the boy dead. 

    >>

    LOWELL, Mass. (AP) - Authorities say a 7-year-old boy was apparently attacked and killed by two pit bulls in Massachusetts. The Middlesex district attorney's office says a preliminary investigation suggests the boy was attacked Saturday in Lowell after entering a fenced area where the dogs were located. Officers responded to a report of an injured child at the home around 6 p.m. and found the boy dead. 

    >>
HD DOPPLER 6i
/