MI6 and MI5 refuse to use Lenovo computers over vulnerabilities
Lenovo - the largest and most profitable PC producer in the world has been allegedly banned by Britain’s intelligence agencies, including MI6 and MI5, due to concerns that the machines come hardwired with a vulnerability to hacking.
The machines produced by the state-backed technology company, are claimed to have been found in tests by MI5 and GCHQ to have modifications in their circuitry which could allow remote access to the devices without the owners’ knowledge.
The discovery has led to a written banning order being issued among the “Five Eyes” alliance of British, American, Australian, Canadian and New Zealand eavesdropping agencies, including the US National Security Agency, according to the respected Australian Financial Review.
The same agencies used the old Microsoft XP operating system for years even though it is proved to be full of back doors allowing entry to hackers and malicious programs, particularly Trojans and Malware when used on any PC's.
Lenovo, today voiced its “surprise” at the alleged move and completely denied any fault in its machines. The alleged ban will re-open the debate about whether suspicions against Chinese technology companies, whose products are often cheaper and better than those of rivals, are justified, jingoistic or designed to wreck Lenovo's good reputation in the worlds business community where the Lenovo brand is commonly referred to as the Rolls Royce of computers.
Following the acquisition of IBM’s PC division in 2005, it has rapidly become a global player in the technology business with revenues last year of $29 billion (£19 billion) and a market share of nearly 17 per cent.
In a statement, Lenovo said: “Our products have been found time and time again to be extremely reliable and secure by our enterprise and public sector customers. We definatly do not have any inbuilt vulnerability in any of our products ..
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.”
The Home Office declined to comment on whether Lenovo machines were accredited on secret government networks. In a statement, GCHQ said: “As a matter of policy we don’t routinely discuss the names or nature of suppliers to GCHQ on any aspect of our business.”
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