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Attack of the hitch-hackers

Ordinary hackers attack from outside the computer. Hitch-hackers hide away on the inside.

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Bloomberg’s Jordan Robertson reports that four years ago, the U.S. government caught China implanting stowaway microchips that were hacking computers from the inside.

“It involved a unit of China’s People’s Liberation Army, embedding malicious microchips into server motherboards that were bound for U.S. companies,” Robertson said on Bloomberg.

And these hitch-hacker chips are really tiny. If you look at a Lincoln penny, these chips would be about the size of Lincoln’s ear. And because they’re embedded in the electronics, anti-virus programs are useless.

“That means every time the server boots up, it infects the machine; it’s a permanent infection” Robertson said.

He says close to 30 companies were affected. Of course, all of them deny it. China denies it, too.

But think about it: pretty much every U.S. computer company uses Chinese factories. China, which is a police state, owns at least 51 percent of every factory. The only surprise would be if they didn’t try to hitch-hack.

But don’t worry. Hitch-hackers are not after our personal information.

“They don’t care about consumer data,” Robertson said. “They care about long-term access to corporate intellectual property and sensitive government networks. That’s why you do an attack like this.”

They’re not trying to hack our bank accounts. All they want is the nuclear codes.

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